For immediate release.
Team announced – December 6, 2008.
…Rocklin, CA. …The sixth annual All-HammerDown! Team was announced today by
internet site HammerDownUSA.com. Each year, this team honors 40 drivers as the
best in sprint car, midget, and champ-dirt car racing. “The All-HammerDown!
Team simply acknowledges 40 outstanding racers for their driving exploits on
American soil during the calendar year”, said Bobby Gerould – editor of
HammerDownUSA.com. “Making the All-HammerDown! Team means you are a driver that
traveled off the front porch and performed well at the big National
drivers made the All-HammerDown! Team for the first time in their career. The talented half-dozen includes Tony Bruce
Jr., Cody Darrah, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Wayne Johnson, Kevin Swindell, and Cole
12 racers own the distinction of being on the All-HammerDown! Team since its
inception in 2003. That elite group of drivers includes Donny Schatz (winner of
the Racer’s Racing Series points championship in 2008), Jason Meyers, Steve
Kinser, Jac Haudenschild, Terry McCarl, Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman, Danny
Lasoski, Dave Darland, Chad Kemenah, Paul McMahan, and Tim Kaeding.
2008 All-HammerDown! Team
(In alphabetical order)
Jonathan Allard – Chico, CA. …The 2008 Golden State Challenge champion
scored feature wins in three states (California, Oregon, and Washington) while also claiming
the top prize of his hometown Fall Nationals. A third place finish in the Gold
Cup Race of Champions (Chico, CA.) was his ‘high
water mark’ in the Racer’s Racing Series.
Brady Bacon – Broken Arrow, OK. …The 18 year-old made the team for the second straight season on
the strength of his outstanding midget racing performance driving for Kasey
Kahne. Bacon won $15,000 at the prestigious Fireman’s Nationals at Angell Park
Speedway (Sun Prairie, WI.), August 30th,
Dale Blaney – Hartford, OH. …The 2008 All-Star Sprint Car champ had a year to remember. Blaney
took home $20,000 in the Jim Ford Classic (Fremont, OH.), along with a pair of
$10,000 wins at Lawrenceburg, IN, and Eldora Speedway.
Overall, Blaney captured a dozen feature victories.
Tony Bruce Jr. – Liberal, KS. …A huge $15,000 win at the Short Track
Nationals (I-30, Little Rock, AR.) cemented Bruce’s
place on the 2008 All-HammerDown! Team. The “Gangsta” also broke through with
his first World of Outlaws sprint car A-Main win on July 30, 2008, at Thirty-Four Raceway in Iowa. Bruce won in four
different states in 2008 (Arkansas, Iowa, South Dakota, and Texas).
Jerry Coons Jr. – Tucson, AZ. …The 2008 USAC National Sprint Car champ
had a strong second half of the season that included a win in the new Gold
Crown Midget Nationals at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL. Coons’ ten
2008 A-Main wins included the Silver Crown portion of Manzanita Speedway’s (Phoenix, AZ.) Copper on Dirt.
Shane Cottle – Kokomo, IN. …The 2008 Little 500 winner took home $30,000
for his win at Anderson Speedway (IN.). Cottle also scored significant exposure
with a triumph in the sprint car division at the Copper on Dirt. A third place
run in the rugged Chili Bowl Midget Nationals (Tulsa, OK.) showed again why
the “Throttle” is an American hero.
Dave Darland – Lincoln, IN. …Darland’s outstanding 2008 included wins
in the Ultimate Challenge (Southern Iowa Speedway) plus Silver Crown W’s at the
Four-Crown Nationals at Eldora, and in the Sumar Classic at Terre Haute
(IN.) Among the busiest drivers in the
country – Darland suited up for over 90 A-Feature events in the USA during the
Cody Darrah – Red Lion, PA. …The 19 year-old charger made the
All-HammerDown! Team for the first time in his career after a season that
included a win in the Williams Grove National Open. Darrah also claimed a $7,000 Pennsylvania
Speedweek victory at Port Royal in July. Darrah
finished a career best 34th in the 2008 Racer’s Racing Series point
Craig Dollansky – Elk River, MN. …The “Crowd Pleaser” was in the midst of
a career-best year when he was sidelined with a broken arm following a wicked
crash at Eldora on September 19th. Tops among Dollansky’s nine wins
in 2008 was the Eagle Nationals (Eagle, NE.). Dollansky finished second at the
Gold Cup, and third in the Knoxville Nationals.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. – Sunnyvale, TX. …The 23 year-old is a first-time
All-HammerDown! Team member after a year of consistency with the World of
Outlaws. His lone A-Main win of the year came in his first race of the year vs.
All-Star competition at North Florida Speedway. Most impressive was Hafertepe’s
second place run in Round Two of the Ollie’s 360 Challenge at Eldora.
Darren Hagen – Riverside, CA. …For the fourth straight season Hagen makes the cut. Showing
his diversity, Hagen won in a midget on
Manzanita’s dirt and in a sprint car on Winchester Indiana’s pavement. His best
efforts though may have been third place finishes at Turkey Night and in the
Fireman’s midget races over Labor Day weekend in Wisconsin.
Randy Hannagan – Pittsboro, IN. …”The Hurricane” earned his fourth
All-HammerDown! nod on the strength of his first Ohio All-Star Speedweek
championship. Hannagan won three feature events on the year and earned his
highest Racer’s Racing Series award with a second place run in the Hoosier Fall
Jac Haudenschild – Wooster, OH. …Among his finest seasons ever, 50
year-old Jac Haudenschild won the Gold Cup, and the World of Outlaws Fall event
at Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA.). $10,000 scores at
Castrol Raceway (Canada) and at Lebanon Valley (New York) also fell to the
driver of the Carnahan Motorsports R19. “The Wild Child” finished fourth in the
Racer’s Racing Series points.
Tracy Hines – New Castle, IN. …Hines won twice in non-wing sprint car action
at Eldora while also finishing second in the Fireman’s National for midgets. A
sprint car win in USAC Western competition on Thanksgiving closed another
strong season for the veteran driver; a five-time All-HammerDown! selection.
Jesse Hockett – Warsaw, MO. …”The Rocket” displayed his usual
versatility in 2008. He won the Perris Oval Nationals for Duke & Scott
McMillen yet also scored RSS points in a midget at the Chili Bowl, and in a
winged sprint car at both the Knoxville Nationals (prelim), and the Knoxville
360 Nationals. A pair of second place runs without the wing at Calistoga
Speedway over Labor Day weekend added to his impressive resume.
Greg Hodnett – Thomasville, PA. …The transplanted Tennessee driver chalked up three
Pennsylvania wins at Port Royal and one at Lincoln
Speedway in 2008. His “Dream Race” victory at Port Royal on August 2nd
was worth a whopping $30,000. Runner-up finishes in the Tuscarora 50 and the
Hagerstown Octoberfest were his best of the year in Racer’s Racing Series points
Jason Johnson – Eunice, LA. …The premier winged 360 sprint car pilot
in the USA is Jason Johnson. His
2008 included the American Sprint Cars on Tour Championship, as well as wins in
two of the three Ollie’s 360 Challenge races (which earned him a $50,000
bonus). Johnson also won the Ronald Laney Memorial as part of his 21-win
Wayne Johnson – Mustang, OK. …A first-time All-HammerDown! Team
selection, Johnson scored big at Knoxville Raceway by winning his preliminary
night at the Nationals, and the final night of the 360 Nationals. Johnson also
scored big victories vs. the All-Stars at Volusia (FL.) and in the Canadian
Sprint Car Nationals at Oshweken Speedway.
Levi Jones – Olney, IL. …Jones won the 2008 Indiana Sprint Week title with his consistent
top finishes. His biggest score of the season came at the famous Terre Haute
Action Track with a win in the Tony Hulman Classic. Jones hit the jackpot as
well with a victory against USAC-CRA competition at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Tim Kaeding – San Jose, CA. …”T.K.” won the opening night of the
Louie Vermeil Classic at Calistoga (CA.), as well as the Dave Bradway Jr.
Memorial at Silver Dollar Speedway (Chico, CA.). Third place finishes at the Dirt Cup (Skagit
Speedway, WA.) and in the final Trophy Cup points bolstered his strong
Chad Kemenah – Findlay, OH. …The 37-year old veteran spent the year
on the rugged World of Outlaws trail driving for Hard Eight Racing. A third
place finish in the Kings Royal at Eldora in July was backed up with a mirror
run in September at the Ohio half-mile. Kemenah also
finished second in the WoO trip to Castrol Speedway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Kraig Kinser – Bloomington, IN. …A return to full-time sprint car racing
netted Kinser his third All-HammerDown! Team acknowledgement. He won the annual
World of Outlaws stop at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA, as well as a WoO
feature in Brainerd, MN. Kinser closed the year
with a strong runner-up finish at the World Finals (Concord, NC.)
Steve Kinser – Bloomington, IN. …Still winning big races, Steve took home
$40,000 for his triumph in the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville
Speedway (Sarver, PA.). Checkered flags in California, Michigan, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were among his seven
2008 A-Main victories in the USA.
Danny Lasoski – Dover, MO. …”The Dude” was the 2008 Knoxville Raceway track
champion. In a season that saw him ‘pick and choose’ races around his Knoxville commitment, he still managed
wins in five different states. A February 10th World of Outlaws
triumph in Volusia, FL highlighted his year.
Kerry Madsen – St. Mary’s, NSW, Australia. …Consistency placed Madsen on the
All-HammerDown! Team for the second time in his career. A fifth place finish in
the Don Martin Silver Cup at Lernerville was his best RRS points earning
effort. A runner-up finish at Heartland Park in Topeka, KS was the Mad Man’s top
Terry McCarl – Altoona, IA. …”T-Mac” battled World of Outlaws competition
throughout 2008, finishing strong with a fifth place ranking in the Racer’s
Racing Series. A win at Orange County Fair Speedway and runner-up outings in
the Princeton National (MN.) and at Lernerville in May were among his best
races. McCarl also won twice in 360
winged action, taking home the top prize at Eagle, NE, and East Bay Raceway
Paul McMahan – Nashville, TN. …McMahan is one of a dozen drivers to
make every All-HammerDown! Team. In 2008 he jumped into the Casey’s General Store
#6 in late June and ran solidly on the WoO tour. A fourth place finish at Haubstadt, IN, and a sixth place
effort in the Gold Cup were among his best outings. McMahan won the opening
night of the Mini Gold Cup in March driving for Brian Sperry.
Jason Meyers – Clovis, CA. …Meyers had the best year of his career with a
second place finish in the World of Outlaws and Racer’s Racing Series point
standings. Among Meyers big moments of 2008 were wins in May at Lernerville,
and in July at the Brad Doty Classic (Lima, OH.). A runner-up finish at
the Knoxville Nationals earned him his biggest paycheck and wins in Arizona, California, Florida, Missouri, North Dakota, Virginia, and Canada helped pad the wallet.
Daryn Pittman – Owasso, OK. …The 2008 Kings Royal winner started
slowly but turned his season around with a huge $50,000 win at Eldora in July.
He followed with a preliminary win at the Williams Grove Summer Nationals and
World of Outlaws victories at Wilmot Speedway (Wilmot, WI.), and Red River
Valley Speedway (Fargo, ND). Pittman also won the
Front-Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa.
Fred Rahmer – Salfordville, PA. …Hagerstown Octoberfest winner Fred Rahmer did his damage, as
usual, on big tracks. Among his impressive outings was a fourth place finish
versus WoO competition at the Williams Grove Summer Nationals. Overall, Rahmer
won 18 A-Mains between the states of Florida, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Joey Saldana – Pittsboro, IN. …Saldana, the modern day “King of
Eldora”, felt both success and frustration in 2008. A popped tire cost him a
Kings Royal win but two WoO victories at the Ohio half-mile left little
doubt of his dominance on the high-banked half-mile. Saldana won his
preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals, and in WoO action at Billings Motorsports Park, and Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA.).
Donny Schatz – Fargo, ND. …Schatz is a driver in his prime. He won
the World of Outlaws championship and Knoxville Nationals for the third time
in-a-row in 2008. He also narrowly defeated Jason Meyers for the
HammerDownUSA.com Racer’s Racing Series points title. Headline wins for Schatz
included the Williams Grove Summer Nationals, the Princeton National (Princeton, MN.), and the World
Finals (Concord, NC.). Including his Australia runs – Schatz won 25
feature events on the year!
Tim Shaffer – Aliquippa, PA. …Shaffer started the year in the Casey’s General Store #6 but
finished it in the Call-Holbrook #83. Among his wins were triumphs at his home
track, Lernerville Speedway, (Sarver, PA.), Husets Speedway (Brandon, SD), and at the Belleville
High Banks (Belleville, KS.).
Jason Sides – Bartlett, TN. …For the fifth consecutive season Jason
Sides is on the All-HammerDown! Team.
Among his best races in 2008 were a third place World of Outlaws run at
Eldora (Rossburg, OH.) in April, and a fifth in the World Finals (Concord, NC.)
Stevie Smith – New Oxford, PA. …Running a limited schedule, Smith proved
he still can get the job done. Two wins at Lincoln Speedway, (PA.) highlighted
the year for the second generation racer. A second place finish in the Ford
Classic (Fremont, OH.), and a third in the Williams Grove version of the
Ollie’s 360 Challenge were also significant finishes.
Shane Stewart – Bixby, OK. …The 2008 Fred Brownfield Memorial winner
(Elma, WA.) spent time in the Roth Motorsports #83, The Paul Silva #57, as well
as the Doyle’s Harley Davidson #1. Among his biggest wins was a televised WoO
triumph at Knoxville Raceway in June.
Brad Sweet – Grass Valley, CA. …Sweet had a breakout year in 2008 to
follow up his All-HammerDown! Team debut last year. The 22 year-old won the
Belleville Midget Nationals (Belleville, KS.) as well as the
Trophy Cup (Tulare, CA.). Sweet swept weekends
of racing at Knoxville (IA.) in a midget and at Chico (CA.) in a winged 410
sprint car. He also won the non-wing
sprint car portion of the Four Crown Nationals at Eldora.
Kevin Swindell – Germantown, TN. …Kevin Swindell makes
his first All-HammerDown! Team appearance at age 19. His success in non-wing
sprint cars on half-mile dirt tracks powered his 2008 campaign. Swindell won
both the Western World Championships (Manzanita Speedway, Phoenix, AZ.) and the Louie
Vermeil Classic (Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA.). He was runner-up in
the Ultimate Challenge (Oskaloosa, IA.), and on the podium
with a third place finish in the Perris Oval Nationals (Perris, CA.)
Cole Whitt – Alpine, CA. …The youngest member of the All-HammerDown! Team
is 17 year-old Cole Whitt. He won the Hut Hundred at Terre Haute, IN., as well as an Indiana
Sprint Week A-Main at Gas City, IN. A third place finish in
the Gold Crown Midget Nationals, coupled with fourth place runs in the Ultimate
Challenge, and Belleville Midget Nationals cemented his status as the brightest
young star in our HammerDown! world.
Lucas Wolfe – Mechanicsburg, PA. …The 22 year-old made the cut despite missing two months of the
season with a T4 vertebrae injury. Wolfe’s best run came at North Central Speedway (Brainerd,
MN.) where he finished second against World of Outlaws competition.
Selections for the 2008 All-HammerDown! Team
were made this way: Automatic All-HammerDown! team berths were given to
champions of several prominent racing series. The remaining spots went to the
highest ranked drivers in the Racer’s Racing Series point standings. Champions
of the following series’ in 2008 were automatically added to the
American Sprint Cars on
Golden State Challenge
USAC National Midgets
USAC National Sprint
World of Outlaws
AllStarSprint.com, ASCSRacing.com, Hoseheads.com, JohnPadjenMotorsports.com,
OpenWheelTimes.com, PennLive.com, USACRacing.com, and WorldofOutlaws.com