2011 All HammerDown! Team – December 12, 2011. Rocklin, CA. ….HammerDownUSA.com today named the 2011
All-HammerDown! Team. Led by Racer’s Racing Series Champion, Donny Schatz – the
40 driver “team” includes those who performed best at the highest paying and
most prestigious American, grass roots, open-wheel events.
attention to it, and check the points,” said Kyle Larson, the youngest member
of the team at 19 years-old. “You have
to race well at the big races. And I think it’s cool that the (Racer’s Racing
Series) points are given in sprint cars with or without wings, 410’s or 360’s,
midgets, Silver Crown – just all the important events.”
All-HammerDown! Team is a concept we came up with to honor the drivers in ‘our
world’,” said Bobby Gerould – editor of HammerDownUSA.com. “The team, simply,
is a way to recognize the best of the best nationally. Our points and annual slate of 60 races are
the events racers need to be running to be recognized.”
drivers continued their streak of making the All-HammerDown! Team in each of
the nine years since the honor was created in 2003. The talented nine are: Dave
Darland, Jac Haudenschild, Tim Kaeding, Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Jason
Meyers, Daryn Pittman, Joey Saldana, and Donny Schatz. Three drivers made the team in 2011 for the
first time in their career. Veteran pilots Brian Brown, Johnny Herrera, and
Jeff Swindell all expanded their recent travel schedules and in return are
being recognized as drivers who had fantastic performances this season.
annual All-HammerDown! Team in alphabetical order:
Brady Bacon – Broken Arrow, OK. – Age 21. Bacon
impressed with his versatility in 2011. He finished second in the non-wing,
Ultimate Challenge (Oskaloosa, IA.), and had the same result with the wing on
at the ASCS Short Track Nationals (Little Rock, AR.), and in ASCS National
action at Las Cruces, NM. Bacon was also named Rookie of the Year at the
Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville, IA.).
Brian Brown – Grain Valley, MO. –
Age 33. Brian earned his first All-HammerDown! Team honor with a seven win
season that saw him travel more than prior years. Brown finished on the podium
in his preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals, and backed that up with a
seventh place finish on Saturday night. Brown won races in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska.)
Bryan Clauson – Noblesville, IN. –
Age 22. Clauson won both the overall USAC National Drivers Championship, as
well as the USAC National Midget title in 2011. He was runner-up in the Indiana
Sprint Week points, and also ran second at the annual Haubstadt Hustler (Haubstadt, IN.). Clauson also earned
his third National Midget Driver of the Year points championship.
Jerry Coons Jr. – Tucson AZ. – Age 39. Coons won
the Hoosier Hundred (Indianapolis, IN.) and posted strong
runner-up finishes at the Belleville Midget Nationals (Belleville, KS.), and at the Gold
Crown Midget Nationals (Pontoon Beach, IL.). 2011 marks the
seventh All-HammerDown! Team selection for Coons.
Dave Darland – Lincoln, IN. – Age 45. Darland
finished second in the sprint car portion of the Four Crown Nationals at Eldora
(Rossburg, OH.). He was third in the Ultimate
Challenge and third in the final Indiana Sprint Week points.
Cody Darrah – Red Lion, PA. – Age
22. Darrah’s rookie year on the World of Outlaws trail included winning a
feature in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and scoring top-five
finishes in two high visibility events; the WoO season-opening weekend at Volusia, Florida, and the WoO World
Finals (Concord, NC.).
Lance Dewease – Fayetteville, PA. – Age 46. Dewease won
the Williams Grove Speedway (Mechanicsburg, PA.) track championship as
well as the All-Stars Eastern Region title. He also finished a career-best
ninth in the Knoxville Nationals. Unfortunately - he suffered a broken neck in
a crash at Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA.) in early October.
Dewease says he will return as soon as he is fully healed.
Craig Dollansky – Elk River, MN. – Age 45. The
hard-charging Dollansky won nine World of Outlaws feature events in 2011. Among
his wins were scores in the Mini-Gold Cup (Chico, CA.), and the Iron-Man
55 (Pevely, MO.). He has made the
All-HammerDown! Team eight years in a row.
Bobby East – Age 26. Brownsburg,
IN. East used top finishes at a trio of BIG events to make the All HammerDown!
Team for the third time in his career. He was on the podium at the Belleville
Midget Nationals, and in the sprint car portion of the Four Crown at Eldora.
East also had a top-ten result at the 2011 Chili Bowl (Tulsa, OK.).
Damion Gardner – Concord, CA. – Age 34. Gardner won the Perris Oval
Nationals (Perris, CA.) in November as well as USAC’s National Sprint Car opening
event at Ocala, Florida in February. Sandwiched between those two triumphs was a
July victory in Haubstadt, Indiana.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. – Sunnyvale, TX. - Age 26. The
confident Texan won both an ASCS National and a World of Outlaws feature in
2011. His March ASCS win came at Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX.),
while an early September score in WoO competition occurred at Skagit Speedway (Alger, WA.). Hafertepe made the All-HammerDown! Team for
the fourth consecutive season.
Jac Haudenschild – Wooster, OH. – Age 53. Most of
Haudenschild’s success came out West. “The Wild Child” won the Trophy Cup (Tulare, CA.), and the $20,000
winner’s share that comes with it, while finishing third in Skagit’s Dirt Cup. He also had
strong fourth place finishes in WoO action at Tulare, and at the Gold Cup (Chico, CA.).
Johnny Herrera – Albuquerque, NM. - Age 45. Herrera earned his first All-HammerDown! Team nod on the strength of
his consistent top finishes in ASCS National competition. Herrera won ASCS
A-Mains in Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Texas.
Tracy Hines – New Castle, IN. – Age 39. Hines
earned his eighth All-HammerDown! selection following
another season of consistent top finishes in USAC competition. He also won the
“Wingless Western” at USA Raceway (Tucson, AZ.).
Jason Johnson – Eunice, LA. – Age 35. The “Ragin’
Cajun” won an ASCS National, series-high, six feature events in 2011 to further
establish himself as a legitimate star of winged sprint car racing. Johnson
also surpassed 200 career feature wins. The 2011 season marked the sixth time
as a pro that he has earned All-HammerDown! honors.
Levi Jones – Olney, IL. – Age 29. Not only was
Levi the USAC Silver Crown champion, he also became USAC’s first five-time
National Sprint Car champion with another stellar campaign that saw him score
huge wins in October at the City of Lawrenceburg Fall Nationals (Lawrenceburg,
IN.), and in the Gold Crown Midget Nationals. Levi has made the All-HammerDown!
Team eight years in a row.
Bud Kaeding – Campbell, CA. - Age
31. Brandon “Bud” Kaeding scored top-five finishes in a pair of BIG events as
the impetus for his eighth career All-HammerDown! Team selection. He was fourth
at both the Hoosier Hundred and in the Perris Oval Nationals. He had seven
feature wins in Central California in 2011, five without
the wing, two with the wing.
Tim Kaeding – San Jose, CA. - Age 33. “T.K.”
once again dazzled race fans with his hard-charging style. Along the way he won
an ASCS National feature at Thunderbowl Raceway (Tulare, CA.), and landed on
the podium at Skagit Speedway’s two biggest events, the Dirt Cup and their WoO
race. Tim won 13 A-Mains on the season.*
Kraig Kinser – Bloomington, IN. – Age 27. Kraig
had a dream night at Cottage Grove Speedway in September when he won his heat,
the dash and the feature event in World of Outlaws action. He had a solid sixth
place finish at the Iron-Man 55 on his way to eighth in the final WoO points.
Steve Kinser – Bloomington, IN. – Age 57. The King
of the Outlaws started the season strongly, winning the season opener for the
World of Outlaws (Barberville, FL.), and four of the first seven nights of
racing on their schedule, including the WoO visit to Las Vegas. Kinser won features in California, Florida, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
Brad Kuhn – Avon, IN. – Age 30. Kuhn is
the professional to call if you want your midget to finish up front in a BIG
race. Kuhn wheeled to top-six finishes in four of the most prestigious midget
races in the USA. He was sixth at the
Chili Bowl, fourth at the Belleville Midget Nationals, third at the Gold Crown
Midget Nationals and sixth at Turkey Night (Irwindale, CA.).
Kyle Larson – Elk Grove, CA. – Age
19. Larson had a dream season in his first full year racing outside of his home
state. He won the Belleville Midget Nationals, the Ultimate Challenge, the Ted
Horn 100 (DuQuoin, IL.), the Gold Cup, and then swept the midget, sprint car,
and Silver Crown portions of the Four Crown Nationals at Eldora. He became the first
driver in the history of our sport to win an ASCS National feature, a World of
Outlaws feature, and features in all three of USAC’s national divisions in the
same season. All tallied – Larson won 21 A-Mains in 2011.
Danny Lasoski – Dover, MO. – Age 51. “The Dude” closed the season strongly after a
championship campaign at Knoxville Raceway. He won the Devil’s Bowl Winter
Nationals (Mesquite, TX.), and posted
top-five finishes at the Short Track Nationals and Western World Championships
(Tucson, AZ.). Lasoski won a dozen
A-Mains on the season.
Kerry Madsen – Saint Mary’s, New South Wales, Australia. – Age 40. Madsen was
the highest ranked Australian driver in the 2011 Racer’s Racing Series points.
He scored a runner-up finish with the World of Outlaws at the Joe Stelter
Memorial (Fremont, OH.), and he was fourth in the Iron-Man 55.
Paul McMahan – Hendersonville, TN. – Age 41.
McMahan’s successful 2011 saw him finish fourth in the World of Outlaws point
standings. Among his four WoO wins were scores at the Dirt Track at Charlotte (Concord, NC.), and at the
Belleville High Banks (Belleville, KS.).
Jason Meyers – Clovis, CA. – Age 32. Meyers
had a spectacular season, driving the Elite Racing #14 to his second
consecutive World of Outlaws championship. He dominated action at Williams
Grove Speedway with wins in their Summer Nationals, and National Open. Meyers
also won the Joe Stelter Memorial at Fremont Speedway and led WoO racing in
top-five finishes. From late September to mid-October, Meyers won five straight
World of Outlaws races.
Daryn Pittman – Owasso, OK. – Age 33. Pittman was
perhaps the busiest driver in the United States. He started 88 A-mains
in 2011**, winning 15 of those events in five different states (plus one in Canada!). Pittman was excellent
on BIG stages in 2011. He finished second in the Williams Grove National Open,
fifth in the Knoxville Nationals, and tenth at the Chili Bowl.
Joey Saldana – Brownsburg, IN. – Age
39. Saldana healed quickly from a wicked hit at the Kings Royal at Eldora in
July; returning to win 67 days later against World of Outlaws competition at Hartford, Michigan. Saldana followed that
triumph with a win at Eldora the next night. Saldana also won WoO races in California, Nevada, and Wisconsin.
Donny Schatz – Fargo, ND. – Age 34. Schatz had a
spectacular second half of the 2011 season, highlighted by his fifth Knoxville
Nationals win, to propel him to the Racer’s Racing Series points title. He also
took home top honors at the Brad Doty Classic (Lima, OH.), the World of
Outlaws World Finals and at the Western World Championships.
Tim Shaffer – Aliquippa, PA. – Age 44. Shaffer
captured the second leg of the twin main events at the Don Martin Memorial
Silver Cup (Sarver, PA.) along with a dozen
other features to make the All-HD Team for the eighth time. In RRS points
races, Shaffer was second in the 360 Nationals (Knoxville, IA.) and fourth at the
Jason Sides – Bartlett, TN. – Age
38. Sides won four World of Outlaws feature events in four different states and
finished second in the Gold Cup Race of Champions (Chico, CA.) to earn his
eighth All-HammerDown! Team selection. Sides’ victories were in California, Florida, Kansas, and Michigan.
Stevie Smith – New Oxford, PA. - Age 45. Among Smith’s
four 2011 wins were the Tuscarora 50 (Port Royal, PA.) and the opening night
of the Trophy Cup where he wound up fourth in the overall event point
standings. Stevie also finished second
at the Williams Grove Summer Nationals versus World of Outlaws competition.
Jon Stanbrough – Avon, IN. – Age 44.
Stanbrough was consistent in 2011 – earning a top ten finish in the Chili Bowl,
and a fourth place result in the final Indiana Sprint Week standings. He scored
four wins in three states with his victories in Indiana, Missouri, and Pennsylvania.
Shane Stewart – Bixby, OK. – Age 35. Stewart
again won the ASCS National championship, driving for Paul Silva. The duo
shined at Knoxville Raceway, winning the 360 Nationals and finishing second in
the Knoxville Nationals. Stewart won a dozen features in 2011, including the
ASCS sanctioned “Copper on Dirt” at USA Raceway (Tucson, AZ.).
Brad Sweet – Grass Valley, CA. – Age 25. Sweet
used consistency across winged 410 and 360 sprint cars, along with midgets to
make the All-HammerDown! Team for the fifth straight season. He spent a portion
of the season filling in for the injured Joey Saldana, finishing third on his
preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals. He also scored third place
finishes at the Brad Doty Classic and at the Trophy Cup. Sweet was fourth in
the Gold Crown Midget Nationals.
Jeff Swindell – Bartlett, TN. – Age 50. Jeff
returned to the road in 2011 to tackle the ASCS National schedule. He finished
fourth in the season standings – scoring a win in April at I-30 Speedway (Little Rock, AR.). Jeff followed that
win with a runner-up finish the following night. He was also on the podium –
finishing third in the ASCS National stop in Cottage Grove, OR.
Sammy Swindell – Germantown, TN. – Age 56. Sammy’s
fantastic season included two wins on big stages at Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA.). He beat World of
Outlaws competition in June at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World”, and then
returned to win his preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals. Sammy also won
the ASCS sanctioned Short Track Nationals.
Chris Windom – Canton, IL. – Age 20. Windom made
the All-HammerDown! Team for the second consecutive season on the strength of
his big year in a non-wing sprint car. Windom won the Little 500 (Anderson,
IN.) on pavement and also captured the Indiana Sprint Week championship on
dirt. He totaled ten A-Main wins on the season.
Lucas Wolfe – Mechanicsburg, PA. – Age 25. Wolfe used
consistent results on the rugged World of Outlaws trail to notch his fifth
career All-HammerDown! Team honor. Wolfe’s third place effort at the Iron-Man
55 in August was his best finish in a Racer’s Racing Series points event.
Gary Wright – Hooks, TX. – Age 52.
Wright won nine feature events including a Racer’s Racing Series points race in
ASCS National competition at I-30 Speedway in April. The Hall of Fame driver
finished fifth in the season-ending ASCS National points.
* Stat from
SprintCarStats.com **Stat from SprintSource.com