Doug Hamm was sure he had this weekend’s Lucas Oil Modified Geico 75 race co-sponsored by E3 Spark Plugs in the bag. After all, he dominated the track at the Las Vegas Bullring for much of the first 70 laps before the race was red-flagged so drivers could conserve fuel after a crash. But when the race restarted, Hamm’s car wouldn’t.
Who knows if that passage in Ecclesiastes crossed Hamm’s mind as he sat in the pits watching his competitors fight it out for the remaining five laps: “The race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong… but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
For Hamm, time and chance delivered a sucker punch in the form of a low gear mechanical failure that he called a “heart break.” He had hoped for a second-straight series win after claiming victory in the CANIDAE All Natural Pet Food 75 in April. Instead, he finished 15th, but managed to keep a smile on his face. After all, a layoff from his job late last year meant he hadn’t planned to compete this season until Sonny Beckman offered him a job that included driving his new No. 42 Modified in the regional Lucas Oil series.
“Sonny’s letting me live my dream,” Hamm told reporters.
When the race got underway again, it was Jim Mardis who took the lead. Mardis and Hamm had run neck-and-neck for several laps before the crash. Shelby Stroebel and Tim Morse rounded out the top three. Next up for the series is the June 4 Magnaflow Exhaust Products 50 at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale in Irwindale, CA.