Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

by Gary "Hammerdown" Costa

Gold Cuppin'

Oh man, Sprint Cars, Sprint Cars, Sprint Cars! I made the trek to California's biggest Winged race, and race fans, those of you that have never been to a Gold Cup; YOU'VE GOTTA GO!

I've always been known to wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I love sharing things with you guys and girls. It was a very rough week to say the least,  I was actually very weary on even going. My girl and I lost a baby the week before The Cup. Man, talk about tough. We were really looking forward to bringing a new life into this world, but it just wasn't meant to be I suppose. So with a heavy heart, and leaving my better half at home was especially hard. My buddy took this pic, and I had some major thoughts in this pic man.....

If it weren't for such an understanding employer such as Weldway Inc. and Weldway Construction and an awesome boss, that being my mentor Mike Sala, the trip would never have been a reality. It's in deals like this when you really see who your friends are, when the chips are down.

I'm a hardcore Sprint Car fan from the word go, and knew once I got up in Chico I would feel better. I ain't going to b.s. you, it was a VERY long 3 hour drive, as the the mind was jumping from thought to thought.

The intensity was second to none. First off, I really need to thank the hospitality of John Padjen Motorsports, the beer girls, The Outlaws for coming to Cali, and of course our very own gassers from the Golden State.

The travelin' photographer and funny guy Mike Nelligan was there with some real beauties. He was really cracking this dude up with his no-nonsense way of joking. He's gotta a xxx mouth, so of course we were having a heckuva conversation. He called my son Devin aka, Lil' Hammer, and wished him a happy birthday and told him, that if the teacher gives him problems to call him. Now that's a scene I would love to see played out!

While we're on the topic of photogs. I really got the chance to see ace photographer John from John's Racing Photos in action. As the cars swarm to staging, John is risking life and limb to bring us, the race fans, some incredible shots. I will never look at a "head shot" the same again. With cars being pushed off, or idling past him to get back to their pit, there's John looking for the best shot. Yep, I think they look "tough" with all those tear-offs on. Modern day warriors.....No doubt! Yes John has helped me along the way, but race fans, I don't say something that I don't feel in the heart. This isn't a plug for John, it's so you, my fellow race fans don't miss out on some great photos. The dude is plain bad. Check him out at

The Civil War show in my opinion was great. Joey Magaruh pulled off a fantastic win. As we all know, the Flachman car is super fast. That team knows how to get the ponies to the ground, and they can walk-the-walk with any shoe in the car.

I would like to take my hat off to ALL the teams for a great night of racing. You guys are awesome! Our 360 drivers are badass, and I'm ecstatic that we can see them just about any weekend.

Thursday was another fun packed night. I saw a lot of old friends before the races, and watched the haulers work their way in. My personal favorite was Dollansky's. That baby is sick! Before even heading to the speed plant, I picked Tim Shaffer and Jason Solwold as The Outlaws to watch. Man they didn't disappoint either. I witnessed Tim in the Main hammerin' her down the backstretch, two wheels off the track, passed two cars, flew back on the track banged her off the cush to pass two more cars! I was yelling "That's why I like that son of a bi&*!!!!!!" Oh baby, the adrenaline was at full tilt!!! Again, great show.

So we head to the motel, and my two bunk mates Lance Jennings from and 360 shoe Richard Brace, Jr. decide to pull an all nighter. Me being the nice guy I am, I just let them be them. No sleep for me, but karma was to visit one of my cohorts that morning. I think he was mentioning "ralph" or something like that. 

Speaking of the next day, I had the privilege of a few different people coming up to me, and asking me if I was Hammerdown. That's what it's about, all you race fans. I ain't in this deal for prestige. I am me, what you see is what you get. Like the song goes "I would rather be hated for who I am, then to be loved for who I'm not." In this pic, I'm in my element. Like a kid in a candy store. Starting to forget all the b.s. that has plagued the past week.

Steve Kinser, what can I say that hasn't already been said. Him and Kraig do need to find a barber though, and quick!

That's it for now. I can go on and on, so I will end it here. But if you see my ugly ass at the track, don't be shy, or feel free to email me anytime. It's all about you guys. Thanks again to all who made this Gold Cup a most memorable one. Take care!

This article is dedicated to my little boy or girl. I will never forget you, as Daddy will forever love you.....






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