LM: Josh Hamner Pensacola preview

Josh Hamner Trying to Freeze ASA Late Models at Pensacola 19-Year-Old Has Plenty of Snowball Experience at Five Flags Speedway CHELSEA, AL (May 9, 2006) -- When a race slips away from a racer in the waning moments of an event, that racer is...

Josh Hamner Trying to Freeze ASA Late Models at Pensacola
19-Year-Old Has Plenty of Snowball Experience at Five Flags Speedway

CHELSEA, AL (May 9, 2006) -- When a race slips away from a racer in the waning moments of an event, that racer is always looking to exact revenge. Josh Hamner is heading back to Pensacola's Five Flags Speedway on May 12th to settle a score. He's not going back to Pensacola just to race; he's going back to finish a job that he started almost a year ago to the day.

On May 13th, 2005, Hamner was competing in a Pro Late Model event at Five Flags Speedway. Hamner dominated the event by leading the first 99 laps of the 100-lap event. In fact, he also led 7/8 of the final lap as well. It wasn't until the last turn, heading to the checkers, that he lost the lead when a lapped car got in his way. Hamner ended up second.

It is something that has eaten at Hamner every single day since the checkers flew that night. Now a year later, Hamner is heading back to Five Flags for another Pro Late Model event with the ASA Late Model Series South Division. And this time, he doesn't care if he leads anything but that final 1/8 of a lap.

"It's the same exact weekend," said Hamner. "If you went back last year to that race weekend, I skipped my senior (high school) luncheon to go race at the Pro Late Model race in Pensacola. I led 99 and seven-eighths of a lap and I lost it in the middle of turns three and four and ended up finishing second.

"Out of all of the tracks we run at, Five Flags Speedway always puts on a good show, but I think this one really owes me a win."

Although time is supposed to heal all wounds, the memories of what should have been are still fresh in Hamner's mind. Now, he is determined to do whatever it takes so that he gets the results that he deserves this time.

"I am going to go and test at Pensacola on Thursday before we head down there for the race. Our reason for going is mainly because the ASA Late Model South series runs on different tires than we normally run on and I really want to get this win. I want to make sure that everything is good and that nothing is crazy with these tires, and then I will be able to get some type of redemption from that track."

He has always been fast at Pensacola, but those great runs haven't always led to the finishes that the 19-year-old racer has expected.

"In a way I am a big fan of Five Flags Speedway, and in a way I am not," said Hamner. "I can't wait to win there because there has been so much disappointment for me down there, it's unbelievable."

While the track is familiar, the series is not. This weekend Hamner adds yet another new series to his resume as he joins the field of Late Model standouts Jay Middleton and Bo Miller, who race in the ASA Late Model South Series.

"This is going to be my first ASA Late Model South race," added Hamner. "I am really excited about running with them; they put on a pretty good show up in Nashville with the ASA LM Challenge Series and they had a lot of cars there. I am really looking forward to racing with a bunch of new guys and it will be nice not having to race against all of my dad's customers. (Josh's dad owns Hamner Racing Engines.)

"I have raced with a few of the guys before, but most of them are going to be new to me. I know Scott Carlson is going to run. He will be pretty tough to beat, but I have beaten him before and I think we can again."

Josh Hamner will be in action when the ASA Late Model South Series heads down to Pensacola, Florida, to Five Flags Speedway on Saturday, May 12th.

-jhr

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