Josh Hamner Ready to "Sling Rods" In First Attempt at All American 19-Year-Old Driver Grew Up Watching The Race... Now He's Racing In It CHELSEA, AL (October 27, 2006) -- As a little kid, Josh Hamner remembers walking through the gates of the ...
Josh Hamner Ready to "Sling Rods" In First Attempt at All American
19-Year-Old Driver Grew Up Watching The Race... Now He's Racing In It
CHELSEA, AL (October 27, 2006) -- As a little kid, Josh Hamner remembers walking through the gates of the historic Nashville Fairgrounds and watching some of his childhood heroes and famous racecar drivers take to the track in the All American 400. From the time he was in diapers to the times he had to sneak into the pits, because he was underage, to the times he was finally able to come in on his own, he was in the pits or in the stands watching the best in the short track world racing in the 400.
Now, it's finally Hamner's turn to do it himself.
Hamner will make his first attempt to make the All American 400 this Saturday when he takes his #38 Joe Gibbs Racing Oil / Hamner Racing Engines Chevrolet Super Late Model to the Music City Motorplex for the 200-lap Super Late Model portion of the All American 400 weekend. This year, the 400 will be split into two 200-lap segments; one for the CRA Super Series Super Late Models and one for the ASA Late Model Series cars.
"This is such a historic race and everything; it makes the weekend very, very important," said Hamner. "No one even realizes how cool it is to do historic things like we get to do. It's special to be the last NASCAR Southeast Series Rookie of the Year. I got to make my first start in the Snowball Derby last year. Now, I'm going to the All American 400, which is, in my mind, the second-biggest Super Late Model race out there behind the Snowball Derby. All of that stuff is pretty special.
"To be able to make the All American 400 would be quite an accomplishment, but we want to race up front, too. There's going to be a lot of heavy hitters there, but I don't see any reason why we wouldn't be able to run with the best of them."
Running with them will be tough for Hamner. This year's Super Late Model portion of the All American 400 weekend has already drawn 77 pre-entries. With even more expected to show up the week of the race, there could be as many as 80 or 90 other cars that Hamner will have to compete against to make the 36-car starting field.
"Even running the Blizzard Series races now, they've gotten so much more competitive than ever. Last year I ran all of the races, but they were nowhere near as competitive as they were this year. You have to be really good to be able to beat those guys. If you do, it makes you feel better about yourself."
It's not like Hamner hasn't run at Nashville either. Earlier this year, he competed with the CRA Super Series at the track. He has also run there a couple of times in the NASCAR Southeast Series. One of those Southeast Series races, Hamner captured the pole.
"We sat on the pole there, so it's a place I know I get around pretty quick," added Hamner. "The first time I ran there with a Super Late Model was the beginning of this year when we took a brand-new car out there. We were still working the bugs out of it back then, so our finish wasn't quite what we wanted. But we went out to Pensacola last weekend and I think we got it pretty good for Nashville. I'm going to test there one more time before the race, but I think we'll be in pretty good shape for the All American.
"Nashville is a horsepower track, and horsepower is never an issue with these Hamner Racing Engines. My dad's going to have to build me a new motor because I'm going to sling the rods out of it, that's how much I want to win this race."
The All American 400 is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, November 4th-5th at the Music City Motorplex in Tennessee.