Josh Hamner Finishes Fifth In NASCAR Southeast Series Debut Youngster Uses The Race As A Learning Experience In Preparation For More SES Races CHELSEA, AL (September 26, 2005) -- Like a lot of racers, Josh Hamner went into this past weekend's...
Josh Hamner Finishes Fifth In NASCAR Southeast Series Debut
Youngster Uses The Race As A Learning Experience In Preparation For More SES Races
CHELSEA, AL (September 26, 2005) -- Like a lot of racers, Josh Hamner went into this past weekend's NASCAR Southeast Series race at South Georgia Motorsports Park with one thing on his mind-- winning. But in reality, Josh knew the best thing coming out of his first career NASCAR Southeast Series start would be the experience he'd gain behind the wheel. So after finishing fifth, Hamner came out of the weekend "tickled."
"It was a little harder than I expected it to be," said Hamner, who made his first career start in the series driving the #33 Richardson Racing Chevrolet normally piloted by Robert Richardson, who was off competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"There was a bigger difference in the cars than I thought there would be. It is hard to explain and to put into words. They are just a little bit harder to drive than a Super Late Model or a Pro Late Model like I am used to. It isn't really a power thing; it is more of a tire thing I think. You have to let these cars run how they want to. With a Super Late Model, if the car is hooked up right, you can get the car to pretty much go where you want it to.
"It was a big learning experience for me. I've got a bunch of laps under my belt now in those cars and at that track. That is good; it's just another track I've run at now. I have to get away from Montgomery and Pensacola and go to more and more tracks."
Hamner was solid all day amongst the Southeast Series regulars. He practiced in the top five in speeds and hoped to be a threat for the pole. Unfortunately, a bad qualifying draw sent him out on the track first to attempt to qualify.
"I thought I had a good shot to be in the top three in qualifying, but I had to go out first. There were some local cars out there too, running before us, so the track was very slick when I went out. We ended up qualifying seventh."
His night certainly wasn't without its bumps in the road.
"(Eventual fast qualifier Jason) Hogan rolled an eight for the invert, so I started on the outside pole. I got a good start and wanted to just sit there and ride for a while. Justin Wakefield and Hogan got by me, so I was sitting fourth. Wakefield slipped off of four and Hogan got a run on him. I also got a run on Hogan at the same time. Going off into one, I didn't get out of it soon enough and I went off on the flat and washed up and got into Hogan and spun out.
"I got going again and I knew I could hustle the car a little more than I'm used to because the tires don't wear out like they do on a Super Late Model. I eventually spun out again, so I got in the mentality to just ride for a while after that. I think I rode too long, because I ended up going a lap down. At the end, I was just trying to finish the race with all of the fenders on it. I wanted to get the experience, which was the most important thing of the night to do anyway. It is just the racer in you that always wants to be there battling for the lead and the win.
"This is a series that makes you real humble, real quick. The car is all in one piece and we have a top-five finish with it. I didn't mess with any of the points people either. I got up there and raced with them, but I kept out of their way and just did my thing."
Hamner had already been planning to make a couple of NASCAR Southeast Series starts before getting the opportunity to drive for the Richardson Racing team. In fact, he'll run the last two SES races of the year behind the wheel of his own car.
"We are going to test our car at Nashville soon," said Hamner. "I think we will be pretty good there and I also think we'll be pretty good at Montgomery with all of the laps we've got there. It is just about experience, and I'm well on my way to that right now."