Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

by Gary "Hammerdown" Costa

Just Ramblin'

Hello everyone. Instead of giving you guys an interview this week, I thought I would "Interrogate" some of my own thoughts and share them with you. Hope you guys don't mind too much...

The Dave Bradway, Jr. Memorial race is this weekend. I don't have to tell you how important he is to us fans. He will forever be a Champ in my book, as I envision in my thoughts Dave still runnin' the cush. We love and miss you "Junior". I had the honor of chatting with brother Alan at Marysville earlier this year, and I gotta tell ya, I felt the presence of Dave that night. Alan is a class act and a helluva wrench too. Since I'm already in the F & F pit, it would be a travesty not to mention Steve Tuccelli. This dude is one of the coolest cats you would ever want to meet, actually that goes for the whole F & F bunch, great people. Go down and say hi to 'em fans, you wont go wrong.

Gary Patterson, I miss you! Whenever Bob Seger is jamming out of the box, I really start thinkin' of him. I've been lagging gettin' to Calistoga to pay my respects to him, sorry "GP" that will change this year. Man we've lost some great ones haven't we? Out of no where, I got to thinking about Robbie Stanley and Rich Vogler last night. Thank goodness their are some great people behind the scenes that help preserve these events. And yes, Bob is soothing my soul as I hit the keys. No, not great guy Bob Statler, the other Bob!

Since we're talking preservation, I've been throwing around an idea. Yes, the ugly dude can think! My idea is to get a "rollover" fund deal going at ALL the weekly California tracks. So this is where you come in. How do we get this going? If every fan were to drop just a "ducket-in-the-bucket", can you imagine how we as fans can help "our" guys out? I know their are a lot of you out there helping out already, and I take my hat off to you. We have the power to help change things. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated!.

I gotta chance to check out the Spec-Sprints this year. I'm glad I did, those guys are bad, in a good way of course. I feel they are underrated to a certain degree. Yeah, they may not reach speeds that the winged dudes do, but don't sell 'em short. Hell, if BF said he would love to drive one, you know they couldn't be that bad.

Speaking of bad, how 'bout "The Demon", that dude is bad fast!. Their has been some chatter on the boards in regards to him cheating and being cocky. No matter what your opinion is of him, he never taps out during the fight. Those guys down South are awesome, and he isn't passing a bunch of nobody's. Love'em or hate 'em, the dude is just plain good.

How lucky we are to have the drivers we do here in California not to mention the great people behind them. We have some really good shoes out here. The Rookies coming up are amazingly fast. Mix that with the Veterans, and we have a damn good show at just about any of our tracks.

How about our tracks? We always have a variety of venues to attend. Hmmmmm, where to go this weekend? Perris? No, I think I'll watch the GSC, naw, I'll check out Placerville, Chico? Marysville? Midgets anyone? I'm sure you feel me.....It may be a tad on the expensive side to live here, gas is outrageous, but we have our racing!

I hate to think what it's going to be like when Steve Kinser, Fred Rahmer, Danny Smith, Brent Kaeding, Sammy, Rip, Steve Kent and of course a bunch of others that have brought us fans so much enjoyment and headache of the years. These guys are legends, and I know we will all adapt, but it sure will be weird not to see them roll out anymore. I guess kinda like the adjustment of when greats from my era like; Ron Horton, Jimmy Boyd, Buster, Ron Rea, Jimmy Oskie, Howard Kaeding, Deano, The Tempe Tornado, Hewitt and a host of others that have hung up their helmet bag.

I get asked all the time "Hammer how did you get you nickname?" Well let's not get confused with the real "Hammer" and that of course is the one and only- Darrell Hanestad. Simply, I got it from my wild younger days. I will leave it at that...'Nuff said!

I make it no secret that I'm a nostalgic dude. When you flip through old Open Wheels or racing papers do you get the chills? I sure do. Legendary photographer Gene Marderness sucker punched me when he sent me some old photos of a young Jeff Gordon for a project I'm working on. The Ol' lady was wondering what the hell was wrong with me! If you like old school pics, Gene is your guy. You can contact him at, no this isn't a sponsor plug either!

Race fans, another great photog is John from John's Racing Photos. This dude turns out some real gems. If you want some great pics, whether it's winged or non-winged, check out John at OK, enough of the Michael Waltrip stuff. Although I did enjoy watching the MW/Jeff Green saga unfold at Darlington.

Message boards, remember, their are a lot of lurkers out there. Friends of so and so, so when you bash a driver or his team, it will get back to them. And don't forget, your name is on that post. I'm not pointing fingers at anyone, just food for thought I suppose.

Rain you suck! I remember my amigo El Nino, but come on, this is ridiculous! Thankfully it looks like we have some nice weather coming our way, so get those push trucks ready!

In ending, I hope everyone has a great rest of the week, good luck to everyone wherever you'll be. Be safe!

*Dedicated to Frank "Terry" Carrier*

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