Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Fast Fathers & Fun Friends!
Unseasonably cool temperatures kept the speeds up as the Spec Miata track record fell by more than 1 second. Gingerman is Hammer's home track and his competitiveness was obvious right off the bat. "It was pretty cool after qualifying when Mike Neal, one of our fastest guys, came up to me and actually commented that I was driving MUCH better than I had at Grattan" says Hammer. Saturday qualifying put the #08 car in 17th starting position. The start was another thing as the 170,000 miles on the engine meant acceleration was not up to par with the rest of the field. Hammer lost 7 positions at the start. "Don't let it fool you, I was in a 5 way battle for position the whole race, it was really great!" A 23rd place finish out of 28 starters was also an 8th place in class finish.
Sunday, the sun was back out & the temperatures rose. Qualifying saw just about everyone fall off by about one second. The Hodgson / Bigmouth car qualified 20th of 32 starters, but again, lack of horsepower saw Hammer fade at the start. "I really need a new engine!" says Hammer. "But man, what a race! Dennis (in an old Pinto!) had the horsepower, but I had him in the corners and we fought a great battle with Conrad in his CRX." Hammer finished 19th and after the race, the 3 drivers had some great laughs in the paddock.
The car came back with nothing more than a few paint chips and a new clean entry in it's logbook. "You know" says Hammer, "Some folks actually spend their free time BOWLING...I don't get that!" Up next, the team looks at racing Waterford Hills Raceway near metropolitan Detroit.
John Hammer drives the Hodgson Heating & Cooling, BigMouthAudio, AutoRacing1.com Spec Miata in the Sports Car Club of America's Club Racing series. He is a radio personality and motorsports journalist. For information on the team, appearances and sponsorship opportunities, send an email to BigMouthJohn@comcast.net