Playing His Cards Right: Randy Hannagan Ready for Action at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas, NV--Oct. 24, 2006-- Randy Hannagan will not be facing the city of fate and fortune alone this weekend, he will have two good ...
Playing His Cards Right: Randy Hannagan Ready for Action at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, NV--Oct. 24, 2006-- Randy Hannagan will not be facing the city of fate and fortune alone this weekend, he will have two good luck charms with him, his fiancee Angie and son Mason to make sure he stays on the right track. He is not only looking for Lady Luck to smile on him at the poker table, but more importantly he is looking for good fortune when he unloads his sprint car at the Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway to wrap up the season for the World of Outlaws Sprint Series on October 27-28.
When the series raced at the ultra-modern half-mile in the spring amidst blustery and snowy conditions, Hannagan turned in two very solid performances. He finished third on March 9 and backed that up with strong fourth-place finish the following night.
After trying out a brand new Don Ott engine for the first time at the famed Knoxville Raceway a few weeks back, where he started on the pole and finished third, Hannagan is confident heading to Las Vegas, another spacious and fast track.
"I look forward to going back to Las Vegas," said Hannagan, driver of the Penthouse Racing Maxim. "Our situation will be a little different. We have a little bit different combination on some stuff, and hopefully it will run better. We'll see what goes on, but we are definitely looking forward to going out there. It's the end of the year, and maybe we can wrap up the year on a good note."
While for some drivers being fast is all about throwing caution to the wind and putting the hammer down lap after lap, Hannagan believes a slightly different philosophy will help him be quick at Las Vegas. While having a good engine under the hood will be a big plus for Hannagan and his team, it is the mental approach that the veteran driver is really focusing on, as he looks to improve two spots on his third place run at the track in the spring.
"It takes some patience and having a good confident set-up in the race car to go fast there," he commented. "We've been there enough that we kind of know what to expect, just like the rest of these guys. We'll go there with a little better attitude than some of the other guys."
While most of his energy will be focused on the track, Hannagan will also take some time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the glamorous city After taking on some of his fellow drivers earlier this season in a poker match on the "Elbows Up" television show, it is very evident that Hannagan is a big fan of poker.
While he is excited to get to play a hand or two, the native of San Jose, Calif., who now calls Pittsboro, Ind. home, is even more thrilled to get to spend some time with his fiancee Angie and son Mason, taking in the surroundings. This will make the trip even more enjoyable and memorable for the always cordial driver.
"I like to play cards," said Hannagan. "I guess I am on the latest kick of Texas Hold 'Em. It is good to just be able to relax and walk around. My son Mason who is going to be one (year old) in a month will be with us, and I can take him and show him all the lights, and get him excited. It's just a good time, where you get to spend some time away from the race track in a place that is a lot of fun."
While Las Vegas offers many things to do and see, Hannagan reiterates that he is there first and foremost to race, and finish off a strong season with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series.
"There are a lot of distractions there that can take away from your racing performance," explained Hannagan. "For some guys, the first time they go there, it's really easy to get caught up in the lights and the glamour of Las Vegas. They didn't build those casinos on their money, they built them on our's. Once you put that in perspective, you can go out and have a good time and just have fun with it."
While Hannagan and his fellow drivers will be turning laps at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the National Hot Rod Association will be making passes at The Strip @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway. For Hannagan, who knows a number of the straight line drivers, it will be a chance to catch up with them, as well as introduce some new fans to sprint car racing on the dirt.
"It's going to good to have some of the NHRA guys like Ron Capps and Gary Scelzi, who are good supporters of sprint car racing and good ambassadors of the sport to come over to our race," said Hannagan. "I look forward to having those guys there, and seeing them. It's good to be able to perform in front of them. They do not get to see us very often, and we don't get to see them. Having them in our neck of the woods if definitely great. Maybe we can go over there see them during their qualifying days, and have a good time."
Hannagan always enjoys going to The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway to race because he knows his crew members will have an immaculate and spacious pit area to work in, which makes their jobs a whole lot easier. For himself and his fellow drives, he also knows the track crew will put a lot of effort into track preparation and give them the best racing surface possible to put on a good show for the fans.
"It is a great facility, and it's a shame we only get to race their twice a year, and not more often, because they do a lot of stuff at that race track than just race sprint cars," described Hannagan. "The configuration of the track is always changing, and sometimes that is good and sometimes bad. It is always fun to race there."
With only this weekend of racing left, Hannagan has one goal in mind, as he enters with eight Top-five finishes on the year. He knows how close he was to making a trip to RacinSoles Victory Lane in March in the two events at Las Vegas and would like nothing more than to celebrate with the winners trophy, to cap a very competitive season that has seen 16 different drivers win World if Outlaws A-Feature events.
"Hopefully in the last couple races we can say we won one," explained Hannagan. "We have been good this year, and we have close. It's just one of those deals, with the tough competition out here. We definitely thought we could win some races this year and we haven't so that is a bit of a letdown for me and my brother."
Despite missing five races earlier in the season when he returned home to be with his mother who was battling health issues, Hannagan, the 1995 winner of the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, is just a few points outside of the Top-10 in the championship standings.
The always optimistic driver has set fast time on two occasions this year. He also has won two dashes, which have earned him two pole positions, including at Knoxville two weeks ago. He has been close to winning a couple of times, and believes that in his first season back racing full-time with the World of Outlaws that he turned some heads.
"They know that we are here to race this year," said a confident Hannagan. "We proved that we can race up front, and we just have to do it more often. We have to come back next year and run up front even more."
With next season just around the corner, Hannagan knows that a win this weekend would carry a lot of momentum into the off-season and help it go by even faster.
For ticket information about the October 27-28 races at the Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway visit: www.lvms.com, or call 1-800-644-4444.