For immediate release.


2008 All-HammerDown! Team announcedDecember 6, 2008. …Rocklin, CA. …The sixth annual All-HammerDown! Team was announced today by internet site 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 “Making the All-HammerDown! Team means you are a driver that traveled off the front porch and performed well at the big National races.” 


Six 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 Whitt.


Meanwhile, 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.



The 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, 2008.


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 calendar year.


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 standings.


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 Classic.


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 action.


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 campaign.


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 eleven-win season.


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 WoO performance.


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 Park (FL.).


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 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.) in November.


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 All-HammerDown! Team:



American Sprint Cars on Tour

Golden State Challenge

USAC National Midgets

USAC National Sprint Cars

World of Outlaws


Sources:,,,,,,, and