Hammer / Hansen History
This is how the Bud Hammer, Jon Hansen nostalgia dragster team won the 2008 NHRA Heritage Series JrFuel Championship.
A Jr Fuel dragster is a front engine 200” wheelbase “Rail” with 12’ Slicks on the back and narrow wire wheels in the front. The engine must be cast iron and no larger than 410 cubic inches running on alcohol for fuel. The NHRA national record for this class, which is owned by Hammer/Hansen is 7.06 ET at 189 MPH, set in Bakersfield Calif, at the 50’th annual March Meet in 2008. Bud Hammer , age 68, is the driver, Jon Hansen, 66, is his partner that owns the engine, computer, transmission , rear-end, and it’s his combination that allows this racecar to run and win at almost 190 MPH in the quarter of a mile. Bud has been building the engines with Jon’s combination and parts for 5 years now. Bud was racing nitro burning JrFuel dragsters in the 60-70’s at famous dragstrips like Lions, in Long Beach, San Fernando, and Bud was at the first legal drag race in Goleta Cailf. While Jon was also driving/racing a nitro JrFuel dragster in the 60’s but in Wisconsin at tracks like the famous GreatLakes Dragway in Union Grove. Jon with his partner Dick Parisey won many events, and set numerous track records in the Midwest with their Jr Fueler, before they won at the NHRA US Nationals in 1969 in Indianapolis, with their BB/Gas Dragster. The Parisey/Hansen team raced a winning dual engine TopGas dragster for 3 years after that. Jon ended his driving career winning the 1973 NHRA Division 3 Top Fuel Championship in 1973, racing racers like Don Garlits, & Shirley Muldoney . So, you can see these guys have done a lot of dragracing for many years. The Hammer/Hansen team is made-up of retired guys except Jon, and Jim, and still racing after all these years.
Here is the story of the turning point of Hammer/Hansen winning the Gold. I don’t know if you heard or not, but the Hammer Hansen Jr Fuel B team would not have won the Championship with-out the help of some other racers and our own hard working crew. At the last Heritage race in Fontana we broke our transmission and the engine soared to 12,100 RPM, and of course, broke valves, pistons, rocker arms, etc on the qualifying run. With us going into the number 4 race in the series in the points lead, it looked like our dream of getting our 1’st Wally was “down-the-tubes”. But after talking to our team and Frank and Scott Parks if they would be willing to work deep into the night, I had a plan “B”. Not only do I own the engine, computer, converters, etc in Bud’s car, but I’ve owned the engine in Dean Carter’s B/ND for the last year and a half, which he races mostly NHRA Competion Eliminator. Well, my plan “B” was Dean was racing the Div 7 race in Bakersfield, which was a Friday & Saturday only race that same week-end. So, once I got an “OK” from our crew, I called Dean said “I need my engine” The plan was after the Carter team was done racing in Bakersield, they were kind enough to drive the 3 hours down to Fontana [10:30pm], and with the help of Dean, Ray, [Dean’s Dad and crew chief] and a crew member, Jim, we pulled the engine out of Dean’s FED and started working on installing my “other” engine in Bud’s car. We worked making brackets, hoses, throttle linkage, replacement transmission, which we just bought as a spare from Wayne Ramay , until 2:30am, went to the hotel, got 3 hours of sleep, then back to the track to finish the installation. We couldn’t have finished in time without the help from the Parks and their trailer, lights, and equipment. I was so proud of our team and friends; I had tears in my eyes after the racecar went straight down the track without any problems, and we won the 1’st round. During the between rounds routine we discovered the converter was loose, so Bud said for the second time at this event “We’re Done” But NO, I didn’t want to give up the points lead after all that work. But again the Parks came to the rescue and helped us tap the flywheel so we could reinstall the converter and we went on to win another round and to go on to Winning the event! And then all we had to do was qualify at the CHRR to sew up the points for the 1’st Heritage Championship in Jr Fuel “B” and our 1’st Wally. This is a great story on “Never give up, Never give up!” and the great friendships we’ve made in the Nostalgia racing family. Bud and I would like to thank our crew; Nick, Joe, Ralph, Jeff, Jim, and Steph [Bud’s daughter] and of course Frank and Scott Parks along with the Carter team for all the help in winning our 1’st Championship!
The Hammer/Hansen team would also like to thank the companies that helped win the “Gold” ; Hayden Wheels, Motul oil, Comp Cams, NGK, Bob McKray Performance, Hilborn fuel injection, A-1 Transmissions, Titan oil pumps, Jeff Johnson oil pans & valve covers, D&D Machining RacePak Computers, Power Sonic Batteries, Odyssey "Starting" Batteries, and California Coast Advertsing.