Hamm Returns To Scene Of Biggest Win As Clash Leader At Fayetteville Motor Speedwayby Press Release August 7, 2019 0 comments
The best night of Brett Hamm’s racing career came March 30 at Fayetteville Motor Speedway.
That’s when he pocketed $10,000 for winning the Ed Gibbons Memorial, one of the premier races sanctioned by the Carolina Clash Super Late Model Series.
It didn’t take very long for the Newberry, S.C., driver to spend those funds strengthening his team. The fiscal decisions have paid dividends, as he enters Saturday’s return visit to Fayetteville as the Clash points leader.
“We updated our equipment and fixed some problems we had,” Hamm said. “We bought some more wheels and tires and have more of them than we’ve ever had, which gives us more options. We use it to operate rather than having to take money out of our pockets to operate: fuel, entry fees, diesel for the truck, and parts. No big spending, just a lot of little things we were able to kind of check off the list.”
Hamm works at the hometown business his father, Frank, established about 40 years ago, Hamm’s Machine Shop. Brett began racing at age 12 in karts, then eventually moved to a Legends car for a brief time: “It was asphalt racing and really wasn’t my thing.”
Then some friends’ interest in dirt Late Model racing prompted Hamm to join them in late 2007. He raced tracks in his area before tackling a regional series, FUEL (Fast Unified Engine Late Models), when it launched in 2014. He finished as the series runner-up to another South Carolina driver, Ross Bailes, in 2014-15, and won five times in those two seasons.
“The odd thing about that was that we weren’t teammates with Ross, but Wesley Page, who owned Ross’ car at the time, he did all my shock and spring work and still does, and I did all of the engine work on his racecars.
“It was actually kind of a cool deal. We basically dominated the series from a wins perspective, and he just had a few more wins than I did. We raced against each other, but we weren’t enemies.”
Hamm stepped up to the Super Late Model ranks in 2016 and notched his first win in a Clash race at Modoc, S.C.. In 2017, he took another checkered flag at Modoc, this time in an Ultimate series show.
This year, in addition to his Fayetteville victory, Hamm has captured a Clash race at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia. He’s finished fourth, fifth and 12th in the three other Clash races to date and holds a 37-point lead over 2009 Clash champ Jeff Smith of Dallas. Including Saturday’s $4,000-to-win Fayetteville show, there are 10 dates left on the Clash schedule, one of which is a Sept. 28 battle at Fayetteville.
“It’s still a little bit early — it doesn’t seem like it on the calendar since it’s August — but our schedule’s very backloaded,” he said. “We’ve got to be consistent. We didn’t start off the year saying we were going to race for points, but to go out, run well and hope things fell into place from there. Right now, it’s a good deal. We’ve just got to keep being consistent and not put ourselves in a bad position.”
Hamm enjoys competing with the Clash, which bills itself as the “Blue Collar Tour” that is suited for drivers and teams who make their living working Monday-Friday jobs. It’s an especially good fit for Hamm, who described his team as a “a one-car, one-engine operation” that tries to maximize its resources.
“We just pack it in a tag-along trailer, me, my dad, my girlfriend and a guy that’s started helping us,” he said. “We work on it a few nights a week or whatever it takes. We don’t push ourselves to the limit. We do as much as we can, and when we’re ready to race, we go race. The Clash schedule allows us to work Monday through Friday but still run a series because their races aren’t far away from home if they’re on Fridays, and they don’t have a lot of back-to-back races on a weekend where you’d need toter homes, big trailers, back-up cars and all that kind of stuff.”
Hamm is eager to return to Fayetteville with good reason. He won a FUEL race at the 4/10ths-mile oval the first time he raced at the track in 2014, and he’s since had “several top fives and top threes” at the facility, which is in its 51st season.
“I’ve always liked it as a driver,” he said. “You have to have the ability to go fast when the track’s really ‘hammer down’ in qualifying, and sometimes in the race, but you also have to have the ability to slow down and manage your tires and drive straight, and that’s one of the things I like to do. Hopefully we can get everything ready, dive back into our notes and maybe make the car even a little bit better than when we won there in March.”
Saturday’s “Back to School Bash” will include a special $500-to-win event for the Renegades division, plus competition in the Diet Mountain Dew Modified, Sportsman, Stingerz and Legends ranks.
Admission price is $30 in the pits and for adults in the VIP tower, $20 for adults, and children ages 11-15 are $10 in the grandstands; 10-under, free. Pits gates open at 4 and the grandstands at 5. The drivers’ meeting in the local divisions will be at 6:15 p.m. and hot laps get underway at 6:45.
Source: Fayetteville Motor Speedway
Photo Credit: Joseph Swann