Traditional Sprint Car FanSite

See You At The Races!!!

by Gary "Hammerdown" Costa

Gary "Hammerdown" Costa and Patty Haudenschild

"Sometimes I think racing is a lot like boxing, you get taken out and on the count of ten you get back up and take the punches, but you just keep on racing" Quote by Patty Haudenschild

Tell us a little about yourself......
Patty: I love racing and I'm excited to be involved with it and have something I love so much be a part of my life.

How long have you been involved in racing?  
Patty: I was born into it. I think my first race was when my mom took me to Ascot at the age of two, probably because she was not able to get a sitter. My mother Sally Sweeney Hogle is the reason we ever started racing on my dads side of the family. My Grandfather Tommy Driscoll was a sprint car racer and gave my dad his first race car. My dad, Max Sweeney raced sprint cars all of my life and then passed it on to my brother Mike Sweeney. I still have 2 cousins racing the USAC/CRA at the PAS Steve Ostling and Verne Sweeney. My father was hurt at Ascot and passed away. Ten years later my mom married Bob Hogle who raced mainly for the Morales Brothers at Ascot and was a 3-time CRA champion. Bob Hogle who now my stepfather was inducted to the Knoxville Hall of Fame 3 years ago. Well after all that racing here I am still racing and passing it on to yet another generation Sheldon Haudenschild, my son who is 11 years old and tied for first in the points in the AMA winter indoor series on two wheels for now.

I remember Brad Doty strapping in at Eldora for the first time since the wreck, what were some of the emotions going through you?  
Patty: Well that was pretty emotional and I remember watching Brad, but as a wife I was also watching Lori and the kids and wondering what they were feeling. I was very happy for all of them.

I've seen you get excited over the years watching Jac, was the win at Oskaloosa the most exciting race you've seen? 
Patty: I hope the excitement wasn't to embarrassing LOL! Yes, Osky was pretty awesome excitement by far the most exciting while others such as the Kings Royal and the HBO are more emotional excitement if that makes any sense. I think the Mopar Million was about as exciting also, but I was very nervous about Jac in a non-wing car at the fastest track I have ever seen. The Mopar Million was the same feeling I felt when I saw Brad Doty back in a race car "emotional". I felt the presence of my father Max Sweeney helping Jac stay smart out there and stay smooth with my brother Mike by my side and all my old friends and my dads from Ascot there which I got to go visit. It was all "DESTINY". I said, this one's for you dad!!!!

What do you do to decrease burnout on the road?  
Patty: I try to exercise and stay in shape which gets harder every year the older I get.

When at the races, what racers wives/girlfriends do you spend time with?  
Patty: Well, most of us see each other when we get to the next race at the board for time trials. That is where we say hi to one another or go visit with them at their trailers, but that is about it. If I have my kids with me I hang out at the motor home with other wives who also have kids so they can all play together and watch the races from the grandstands.

What are some of your hobbies and interests aside from racing?  
Patty: I love to play racquetball and water ski.

What kind of music do you and Jac listen to while traveling?  
Patty: We usually listen to country or old rock'n'roll music.

What's your favorite track & why?  
Patty: Ascot was my most favorite, but now I like a lot of different ones. I like small ones like Chico or Pevely because of the incredible reflexes a driver has to have and the excitement of such a powerful race car getting around those places so quickly. I do, however have respect for the high speed tracks like Eldora and Knoxville. I appreciate the talent of all sprint car racers.

Who's your all time favorite driver, Jac not included! 
Patty: I would have to say my father Max! He was so smooth at Ascot and so was my brother Mike.

Funniest thing you've seen in racing?  
Patty: There have been so many of those, but they called my dad the "Ascot clown" really they did! My dad pulled off a lot of crazy things at Ascot. Okay here's one, but it happened when we went to Phoenix to race Manzanita. Dad was racing for Carl Alleman in the #62 car and he also was the manager for his foundry. Carl and my dad were always pulling jokes on each other so we were in our hotel room, now us kids were young and were asleep they thought, but my dad decides to flash Carl late at night while no ones around so he tells my mom he's going to knock on the door and flash Carl & Donna his wife. Well he does and runs back to get back in, but my mom locks the door. So there's dad running around this hotel in his birthday suit to the back door trying to get in. My mom finally let him. That story was funny to here my mom and dad tell, until the next crazy thing my dad would do and the stories continued throughout my childhood. Oh well, maybe this story wasn't the most appropriate but I wanted you to appreciate my fathers humor! He was a great man!

What does it take to be a racers wife? Any advice?  
Patty: My mom was a class act of any racers wife growing up. I guess the best thing she did was stand behind her man, so that would be my advice. Just be there for him as much as possible.

What's your favorite race to attend and why?  
Patty: Knoxville Nationals, because I get to do what I do best in racing, "T-Shirts"! I wish more tracks would let a racers wife be with her kids in the grandstands and at the same time give the fans access to their favorite drivers t-shirts. I noticed also it helps take stress for Jac & I cause he always feels better if I am with the kids. The stress level is better for me, its much more fun to be up top instead of by the race car. The fans make it fun for me!

How do feel and handle the negativity you see written about Jac on message boards, etc.,?  
Patty: Not very well! I don't like it, but have found out that you really can't do to much about it.

Anything you would like to say to the posters out there?  
Patty: Hope you all enjoy your racing. Please visit us at for any new information regarding Jac for the up-coming season.

Any personal goals you might be working towards?  
Patty: No, just trying to think of just one more shirt design for this year. I change goals in this business a lot.

Is their anything about you,people may not know, but would like them to know? Patty: I tend to be a very focused and intense person at the races, it's just nerves. In fact I heard once I should be driving that race car not Jac "LOL" and no thanks! I really feel I am easy to get along with. Someone once told me that I was probably the most misunderstood out there and I agree, but do not understand why. To know me is to love me "LOL"! I think you shouldn't always believe what you hear. If you really want to know me just ask, depending on what I'm doing out there I'll stop what I'm doing and listen! I tend to be bold and that's okay sometimes my honesty will sometimes get the best of me. Jack Elden was the longest car owner of Jac's career that I have been involved with and have the utmost respect for. Jack has always said and still does, that I am a great business person. I'm thankful for his respect and at the same time his constructive criticism sometimes. I feel I am a lot like my dad very funny at times, good at what I do, a little crazy and a little forward at times.

Gary, I want to thank you for the opportunity to let all of Jac's fans get to know me a little better. I hope they feel they know me more by reading about my life and background in racing. It's been fun and it's been tough! Oh yes, I have one more thing to share! I have a sister, Susie Sweeney Kemp who lives in El Segundo, California who also was a racer and could beat the best of some drivers in her Quarter Midget days at Firestone raceway in California. I could name a few, but don't want to embarrass them. I tried it once in a quarter midget, but was a better spectator (my dad made me do it and I didn't want to) I tried and I couldn't do it, I tried and cried and then crashed!
God bless all of you!

No Patty, thank you for being such a good sport, and letting us fans get to know you a little better !






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