Hamner’s weekend hits wall

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Three weeks after setting a new qualifying record of 20.473 and winning the race at Birmingham International Raceway, Chelsea driver Josh Hamner’s luck ran out.

&uot;We had a little bad luck this weekend,&uot; Hamner said.

Racing at Montgomery Motor Speedway, Hamner’s family owned car was tapped on the 55th lap, sending him into the wall and ending his day.

&uot;He got me in (turn) 3 and (turn) 4, got me loose and I tried to correct it and backed it into the wall,&uot; Hamner said.

At the time of the wreck, Hamner was running fifth.

Hamner started out the day eighth out of the 26 cars who qualified.

Hamner, 17, who will be a senior next year at Chelsea High School, described the weekend as a &uot;heartbreaker.&uot;

After a late-night test session the night before the race, Hamner said he felt he had a car good enough to win.

Hamner’s competitors are often two to three times his age, making it difficult for many of them to have patience behind him.

&uot;Some of these guys are 50, 55 years old and have as much experience as, probably, the rest of us out there,&uot; Hamner said. &uot;We had our hopes up and a driver gets into us and gets in over his head.&uot;

Hamner hopes to curtail his weekend of bad luck when he returns to BIR July 17 for a Southern All-Star race.

Until then, like he does whenever he is not racing, Hamner will spend his time working with other teams from the area, either in their garage or in their pit