Josh Hamner Continues Racing Education Fresh Off a Successful Test in Florida, High Schooler Heads to Montgomery CHELSEA, AL (March 15, 2005) -- Josh Hamner's short track education continues this week as he looks back on a homework assignment...
Josh Hamner Continues Racing Education
Fresh Off a Successful Test in Florida, High Schooler Heads to Montgomery
CHELSEA, AL (March 15, 2005) -- Josh Hamner's short track education continues this week as he looks back on a homework assignment from the past weekend and prepares to be graded on a curve, well actually four of them, in this coming weekend's exam at Montgomery Speedway (AL).
The high school student is entered in the 125-lap feature at the half-mile track on Saturday night, March 19th. Last weekend was spent on another half-mile, Five Flags Speedway (FL), but it was a test session, not an actual race, that brought Hamner and his team to the panhandle of Florida.
"We went to Five Flags basically to burn tires up," said Hamner. "We had tires left over from the rained out Early Bird race at Birmingham and they allow us to soak the tires there as long as they pass a durometer test of 60 before qualifying and 50 after qualifying. After soaked tires sit for a little bit, they are almost junk. Since the race is postponed for at least another month, we aren't going to be able to use them for that. So we went through five or six sets testing instead."
The test session was a productive one.
"It went excellent," said Hamner. "We really accomplished a lot. Scott Carlson [a local Super Late Model standout] was there to help us out. We got in a pick-up truck together and drove around the track. He showed me what to do -- when to get on the brakes and the gas and what the fast way around the track was."
And then Hamner went out and ran for as long as his tires would hold up.
"I learned that you could be a hero for about ten laps and then it was like someone turned a switch off," said Hamner. "Then, I would be all over the place."
At first glance it appears that under those conditions, not much could be learned that would translate to a regular race, but Hamner thinks that he learned a lot as a driver from the test.
"I really learned how patient you need to be in a race," said Hamner. "If you abuse your tires, you might be Superman for a while, but your laps will go south after that. My crew chief is always telling me to keep the tires on the car and that is something I really learned this weekend."
That makes Hamner even better prepared for this weekend at Montgomery.
"I can't wait for this weekend," said Hamner. "We are going down there to practice on Thursday night and if all goes well, we will leave our trailer right at the track and come back Saturday morning."
There will be some big names in the Super Late Model world at Montgomery this weekend and Hamner isn't intimidated.
"It will be really tough to beat guys like Charlie Bradberry and J.R. Norris," said Hamner. "The local guys will be very good as well. But I feel very good about our chances and we are going there to win. Maybe I can get behind Charlie and J.R. and follow them to see if they mess up. Then again, maybe I'll be able to get out and lead early. We'll see."
Hamner isn't headed to unfamiliar ground when it comes to the Montgomery track.
"That place means a lot to me," said Hamner. "I won my first Late Model feature there and I think it's the nicest facility in Alabama to race at. It's got a good pit road and a good tech area. The fans will see a really good show there."