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2014 All HammerDown! Team December 31, 2014.  Rocklin, CA. …, today, named the 2014 All-HammerDown! Team. Led by Racer’s Racing Series Champion, Donny Schatz, the 40 driver “team” includes those who performed best at the highest paying and most prestigious American, grass roots, open-wheel events.


“The All-HammerDown! Team is our way to acknowledge the drivers that are performing well on a national stage,” said Bobby Gerould – editor of “We keep points for 60 of the biggest USA events. You have to finish in the top 15 in an A-Feature to secure points. This year there were 264 drivers that earned points but only the top 40 receive the All-HammerDown! status.”


Six drivers continued their streak of making the All-HammerDown! Team in each of the 12 years since the honor was created in 2003. The legendary six are: Dave Darland, Steve Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Daryn Pittman, Joey Saldana, and Donny Schatz.  Three drivers made the team in 2014 for the first time in their career, headed by Pennsylvania ace, Brent Marks. Joining Marks as first-time All-HammerDown! Team honorees are Kyle Hirst, and Ryan Smith.


The 12th annual All-HammerDown! Team, in alphabetical order:


·         Rico Abreu St. Helena, CA. – Age 22. Abreu’s season was spectacular. The 2014 USAC National Midget Champion, and Johnny Key Classic winner scored points in practically every way imaginable. He won features in midgets, winged 360 sprint cars, winged 410 sprint cars, and non-winged 410 sprint cars. An aggressive 105 race schedule led to victories in Arizona, California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas (Belleville Midget Nationals), Ohio, Oregon, and South Dakota. Along the way, Abreu won races sanctioned by ASCS National, ASCS Northwest, the All-Stars, Civil War, King of the West, MOWA, SOD, USAC-CRA, USAC National Midgets, USAC Western Midgets, and the World of Outlaws.

·         Brady BaconBroken Arrow, OK. – Age 24. Bacon won four USAC National sprint car features in 2014 and delivered the famed Hoffman Auto Racing team their tenth USAC National Championship. Bacon never had a “DNF” in 32 nights of USAC action. Bacon’s most prestigious score of the season was a victory in the sprint car portion of Eldora Speedway’s (Rossburg, OH.) Four Crown Nationals. Off the track, Bacon became a daddy for the first time as wife Xia Xianna gave birth to daughter Levany in November.

·         Robert Ballou Rocklin, CA.  - Age 26. Ballou stormed to a brilliant second half of the season, showing his strength by winning the Perris Oval Nationals (Perris Auto Speedway, Perris, CA.). Ballou had three runner-up runs that were noteworthy as well. He finished second in the Indiana Sprint Week points, second at Kokomo’s Sprint Car Smack Down (Kokomo Speedway, Kokomo, IN.), and second at the Haubstadt Hustler (Haubstadt, IN.). Ballou won eleven non-winged 410 sprint car races in 2014, all coming after the first week of June.

·         Christopher Bell Norman, OK.  - Age 20. Bell lived up to the hype again in 2014. The youngest member of this All-HammerDown! Team, Bell won both the Short Track Nationals (I-30 Speedway, Little Rock AR.), in a winged 360 sprint car, and the Turkey Night Grand Prix (Perris, CA.) in a midget. Bell also finished third on the final night of the Chili Bowl (Tulsa Expo Raceway, Tulsa, OK.). He found the winner’s circle 27 times in 107 starts.

·         Dale Blaney Hartford, OH. – Age 50. Blaney won his fifth All-Star Circuit of Champions title in 2014. He was dominating during Ohio Speed Week, winning four of the six features. The two he did not win, he ran second. Blaney won both the Speed Week finale and the Jim Ford Classic at Fremont Speedway (Fremont, OH.). “The Lowrider”, also scored a big $15,000 to-win Renegade feature at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, OH.

·         Brian Brown – Grain Valley, MO. – Age 36. Brown won 14 races in 2014 including his first career World of Outlaws feature at the World Finals (Charlotte Dirt Track, Concord, NC.). He also captured the Knoxville 360 Nationals and won his preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals (Knoxville Raceway, Knoxville, IA.). The best cash grab for Brown was his third straight runner-up finish at the Nationals which paid $75,000! Brown finished third at the Short Track Nationals.

·         Bryan Clauson – Noblesville, IN. – Age 25. Clauson started 2014 with a bang, winning the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals. He continued his strong season in middle of the year with the Indiana Sprint Week Championship, and he stayed hot by hauling in the Lawrenceburg Nationals (Lawrenceburg Speedway, Lawrenceburg, IN.) first place trophy. Clauson spread his wings in 2014, earning Racer’s Racing Series points in a winged sprint car at the World of Outlaws Las Vegas event, and at the Knoxville Nationals (fifth on his prelim night). 

·         Dave DarlandLincoln, IN. – Age 48. Darland won the Kokomo Sprint Car Smack Down and finished fifth in the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals to highlight another fine season. He captured 15 A-Main wins across five states, winning in Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska, New Mexico and Ohio. Darland is one of just six drivers to make the All-HammerDown! Team in each of the twelve years since the concept was created.

·         Cody Darrah – Red Lion, PA. – Age 25. Darrah made the All-HammerDown! Team for the sixth time in his young career. He won two World of Outlaws features and posted 17 top-five runs, racing on the toughest sprint car circuit in the world. Darrah finished fourth at the wildly competitive Williams Grove Summer Nationals (Williams Grove Speedway, Mechanicsburg, PA.), and he was in the top-dozen at the 2014 Knoxville Nationals.

·         Lance Dewease Fayetteville, PA. Age 49. Dewease won the World of Outlaws sanctioned Williams Grove Summer Nationals, and he finished second in the Dirt Classic presented by Kasey Kahne at Lincoln Speedway (Abbottstown, PA.). Dewease won four feature events, with 26 top-five finishes in 2014.

·         Danny Dietrich – Aspers, PA. – Age 26. Dietrich won ten feature events in 2014. He was runner-up in the second leg of the World of Outlaws’ Don Martin Silver Cup at Lernerville (Lernerville Speedway, Sarver, PA.). Dietrich finished in the top ten vs. the World of Outlaws at the Summer Nationals, the National Open (both at Williams Grove), and in the WoO visit to Port Royal.

·         Craig DollanskyElk River, MN. – Age 48. Dollansky won five feature events in three states (Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin) in 2014 but his best run was a fourth place finish in the Knoxville Nationals worth $26,000.  Dollansky previewed 2015 as the new driver for Destiny Motorsports with a tenth place finish on the second night at the World Finals.

·         David Gravel Watertown, CT. – Age 22. Gravel’s season was highlighted with a huge $50,000 victory in the Williams Grove National Open. He won five World of Outlaws A-Mains on the season, and finished third at the Kings Royal (Eldora Speedway).

·         Sam Hafertepe Jr. – Sunnyvale, TX. - Age 29. For the seventh year in a row, Hafertepe is on the All-HammerDown! Team. He won a half-dozen feature events on the year but he had four BIG podium finishes including second at the Knoxville 360 Nationals, and a runner-up run on his preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals. The Texas native ran second at the ASCS National event at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, and he was third in the Hockett/McMillin Memorial (Wheatland, MO.).

·         Tracy Hines New Castle, IN. – Age 42. Hines earned his tenth All-HammerDown! berth in 2014. He won the Night Before the 500 USAC National Midget race at Raceway Park (Indianapolis, IN.), as well as non-wing sprint car features at Gas City, IN, and at Canyon Speedway Park in Peoria, AZ.

·         Kyle Hirst Chico, CA. – Age 27. Hirst’s first All-HammerDown! Team selection comes on the heels of his second consecutive King of the West Championship. Kyle won nine A-Mains on U.S. soil (three in Australia) in 2014. He accomplished a rare, but format friendly feat, on the first night of the Trophy Cup when he won the C, B, and A-Mains. Hirst finished fourth in the Gold Cup Race of Champions vs. World of Outlaws competition.

·         Greg Hodnett Thomasville, PA. – Age 45. Hodnett won 12 A-mains in 2014, including The Final Showdown (Susquehanna Speedway, York Haven, PA.), and the Bob Weikert Memorial (Port Royal, PA.). He finished second vs. World of Outlaws competition at their Lincoln Speedway stop in May. On the opening night of the hotly contested World Finals, Hodnett finished fifth. Hodnett was also runner-up at Port Royal’s Dream Race.

·         Danny Holtgraver Pittsburgh, PA. – Age 25. Holtgraver finished third in the All-Star Circuit of Champions point standings in 2014. He won seven feature events across three states (Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania). Holtgraver used good runs vs. tough World of Outlaws competition to earn his second career All-HammerDown! selection. Holtgraver finished fifth vs. WoO at Lernerville in September, and was in the top-ten on the final night of the WoO season opener at Volusia Speedway (Barberville, FL.). 

·         Jason JohnsonEunice, LA. – Age 38. Johnson won his fifth ASCS National championship in 2014. He captured six feature event wins in 74 nights of racing. His best score was a win in round three of the Cocopah Cup Challenge at Cocopah Speedway in Somerton, AZ. Johnson has formally announced plans to run the 2015 World of Outlaws tour.

·         Kraig KinserBloomington, IN. – Age 30. Kraig Kinser won a World of Outlaws feature event (Spencer, IA.), and had 30 top-ten WoO finishes in 2014 to make the All-HammerDown! Team for the ninth time in his career. Kraig finished second on his preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals, and he was tenth on the final night of the Nationals (good for $16,000).

·         Steve KinserBloomington, IN. – Age 60. In his last full season with the World of Outlaws, Steve won a feature (Volusia Speedway Park, Volusia, FL.) and added eleven top-five finishes. He finished as runner up in the WoO visit to Las Vegas Motor Speedway in early March. Kinser is one of six drivers to make the All-HammerDown! Team every year since its inception.

·         Danny LasoskiDover, MO. – Age 54.  “The Dude” won four A-Mains in 2014 across three states (Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska). Lasoski finished fourth on the opening night of the World Finals, and he had a strong runner-up finish at both the Fall Brawl (I-80 Speedway, Greenwood, NE.), and at the Renegade’s Atomic Speedway visit in late October.

·         Kerry Madsen – Saint Mary’s, New South Wales, Australia. – Age 43. Madsen finished as the highest ranked international driver in the Racer’s Racing Series in 2014. He won the “Kings Royal” at Eldora in July, and the WoO event at the Stockton 99 Dirt Track (Stockton, CA.). “The Madman” finished third at the 2014 Knoxville Nationals. Madsen has made the All-HammerDown! Team eight times, more than any other international driver.

·         Brent Marks Myerstown, PA. – Age 24. Making his debut as an All-HammerDown! honoree, Marks was a six-time A-Main winner in 2014. Marks biggest win came in August at the Port Royal Dream. He finished sixth on the opening night of the World Finals vs. tough World of Outlaws competition.

·         Terry McCarl Altoona, IA. – Age 50. Never afraid to “get off the porch”; McCarl had a strong six-win 2014 that included his eighth track championship at Huset’s Speedway. He was runner-up at the WoO sanctioned Mediacom Shootout at Knoxville in June, and he finished seventh in the Knoxville Nationals. He earned Racer’s Racing Series points in five states (California, Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, and North Carolina) in 2014.

·         Paul McMahanHendersonville, TN. – Age 44. McMahan won five World of Outlaws A-Mains including the 2014 Brad Doty Classic (Limaland Motorsports Park, Lima, OH.). His 75 top-ten WoO finishes ranked third in the rugged series. He was sixth in the Knoxville Nationals.

·         Daryn PittmanOwasso, OK. – Age 36. Pittman won 14 World of Outlaws A-mains, and found time to finish seventh on the final night of the Chili Bowl in a midget. Among his biggest wins were: the opening night of the World Finals, the Morgan Cup at Williams Grove, and the final night of the WoO return to Devils Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX.)

·         Joey Saldana – Brownsburg, IN. – Age 42. Saldana won seven World of Outlaws A-Mains in 2014. His most prestigious scores came at Eldora Speedway and Lernerville Speedway in September. The “Brownsburg Bullet” finished second in the WoO return to Devils Bowl, and he was in the top ten at the Knoxville Nationals. This month, Saldana won in a midget at the Southern Illinois Center (DuQuoin, IL.).

·         Donny SchatzFargo, ND.  - Age 37. The reigning SUPERSTAR of sprint car racing won the World of Outlaws championship, and the Knoxville Nationals to highlight another stellar season. Schatz captured 26 WoO A-Mains and remarkably made it through the WoO campaign without a DNF. He scored more Racer’s Racing Series points than anybody else for the eighth time in the last nine years.   

·         Tim ShafferAliquippa, PA. – Age 47. Shaffer won features in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 2014 to make the All-HammerDown! Team for the eleventh time in his career. His best Racer’s Racing Series score was a runner-up finish in the World of Outlaws sanctioned “Knight” Before the Kings Royal at Eldora.

·         Jason Sides – Bartlett, TN. – Age 41. Sides earned his eleventh All-HammerDown! Team selection in 2014. He had 22 top-ten finishes racing on the rugged World of Outlaws series. His best results in Racer’s Racing Series points earning events were a pair of fourth place runs in WoO races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and at Fremont Speedway. 

·         Ryan Smith Kunkletown, PA. – Age 26. Smith made the All-HammerDown! Team for the first time in his career. His BIG win vs. the World of Outlaws at Port Royal Speedway in October highlighted his season. The “Kunkletown Kid” was in the top 15 at two of the toughest events in sprint car racing: the Morgan Cup at Williams Grove, and the World Finals at Charlotte.

·         Stevie Smith Broken Arrow, OK. / New Oxford, PA. – Age 48. Stevie had a year to remember in 2014! He beat the World of Outlaws in the Gettysburg Clash at Lincoln Speedway, won the Mitch Smith Memorial at Williams Grove, and was the best at the Dirt Classic presented by Kasey Kahne (Lincoln). Smith won seven A-Mains total, and he was runner-up on the last night of the World Finals at Charlotte.

·         Shane StewartBixby, OK. – Age 38. Stewart was the highest points earner in the Racer’s Racing Series that was not a full time World of Outlaws driver. Shane won his preliminary night at the Knoxville Nationals, and he captured first place at the ASCS season finale at Cocopah Speedway. Stewart beat WoO competition twice in 2014 (Eldora and Willamette, OR.).

·         Brad SweetGrass Valley, CA. – Age 29. Sweet is firmly entrenched as one of the stars of sprint car racing having achieved All-HammerDown! status eight years in a row. In 2014, the “Big Cat” scored BIG wins in the World of Outlaws season opener at Volusia and in the Mediacom Shootout at Knoxville in June. He won five World of Outlaws A-Mains on the season.

·         Kevin Swindell Germantown, TN. – Age 25. Kevin finished second at the Chili Bowl, fourth at the Kings Royal, and fifth in the Short Track Nationals to help secure an All-HammerDown! nod despite racing a partial schedule. Kevin was in the top 15 both nights of the World of Outlaws return to Devils Bowl Speedway.

·         Sammy SwindellGermantown, TN. – Age 59. Despite stepping away from driving, mid-season, Sammy earned enough RRS points to make the All-HammerDown! Team for the ninth time in his career. Sammy won two WoO A-Mains including the “Knight” Before the Kings Royal at Eldora. Sammy finished third in the Knoxville 360 Nationals, and third in the Outlaws return to Devils Bowl.

·         Greg Wilson - Benton Ridge, OH. – Age 38. Wilson earned his second career All-HammerDown! nod, winning five A-Mains in three states (Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania). He finished sixth in the Kings Royal at Eldora, and backed that up with a seventh place finish vs. the World of Outlaws at Fremont Speedway.

·         Chris WindomCanton, IL. – Age 23. Windom made the All-HammerDown! Team for the fifth consecutive season.  He used top ten finishes at the Chili Bowl, Four Crown (sprint car), Lawrenceburg Nationals, and in the Western World (Canyon Speedway, Peoria, AZ.), to garner enough RRS points to make the cut.

·         Lucas Wolfe Mechanicsburg, PA. Age 28. Wolfe returned to the All-HammerDown! Team in 2014. Wolfe won two A-Mains on the season at Port Royal and Williams Grove respectively. He was third vs. the World of Outlaws at both the Morgan Cup, and the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove.