Driver changes

HAMILTON HIRES SHEPARD; SMITH JOINS VEILHAUER By Richard Day Al Hamilton and Stevie Smith, missing from the World of Outlaws tour since the series left Pennsylvania, announced their decisions to...

HAMILTON HIRES SHEPARD; SMITH JOINS VEILHAUER By Richard Day Al Hamilton and Stevie Smith, missing from the World of Outlaws tour since the series left Pennsylvania, announced their decisions to return to the "greatest show on dirt" Friday. Hamilton hired Jeff Shepard to pilot the #77 MAC Tools J&J, while Smith announced that he will drive Bob Veilhauer's #12x Beaver Drill & Tool Gambler. Both said they would return to the World of Outlaws tour with their new teams at Hales Corners Speedway's Beer Town Showdown on June 16th. "I'm happy to have Jeff in my car," Hamilton said. "He's a good up-and-coming young driver. We're going to follow the World of Outlaws' tour the rest of the year, and shoot for the Rookie of the Year award." Smith, the World of Outlaws' Rookie of the Year in 1990, drove the #77 for six years. In four full years on the Copenhagen-Skoal Shootout tour, Smith and Hamilton combined for four top-five finishes in the point standings, including second-place run in 1992. Stevie put the #77 in victory lane following 22 World of Outlaws "A" Feature victories, including one at Hutchinson Raceway Park on April 1st this season. "Al and I are still friends," Smith said. "We split on good terms. We shook hands after exchanging all of the equipment. I had fun racing with the Hamiltons, but other things got involved besides the racing so we split. I'm ready to start all over." In his final race for Hamilton, he drove the #77 into 11th place at Williams Grove Speedway, where he captured National Open championships in 1989 and 1991. Smith and Hamilton ranked fourth in the World of Outlaws point standings at the time of the split. Stevie salvaged 132 points by driving Sid Blandford's #31 B&B Construction American Challenger into ninth place at Lincoln Speedway on June 4th. Missing the New York tour caused both to drop into 11th place. "Tom Sanders from Gambler called me Monday morning, and told me that Mr. Veilhauer was available," Smith said. "I didn't want to jump into the first ride that came along just to keep my points up and be running in the back. With Mr. Veilhauer, I'm going to be better off trying to earn my points back by running good. That's going to do a lot more for me and my career; that's why I decided to drive for him. "I'm excited about this opportunity. Bob is a super-nice guy. I've known him for a while. I've worked on my car at his shop before. He's going to let me call the shots on the car. I think we're going to have a good relationship together." Veilhauer opened the 1994 season with Danny Smith driving the #12x. The team ranked 12th in the point standings when it left the World of Outlaws tour to race in Knoxville Raceway's weekly program. This season, Shepard has driven Ron Pack's #4A two different times, Alan Walker's #21A, Guy Forbrook's #5 and Bob Weikert's #29 before joining Hamilton Motorsports. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Teams Williams