Jeff Hammond (NASCAR)
Jeff Hammond (center) discusses pit road safety with U.S. Marines, courtesy of U.S. Marines
|Born||September 9, 1956|
|Occupation||Television sportscaster for Fox Sports 1 on NASCAR Race Hub|
|Known for||Former crew chief|
Jeff Hammond (born September 9, 1956) is an American NASCAR personality. Currently, he is a commentator for NASCAR's coverage on Fox Sports, as well as a partial owner of Red Horse Racing, a Camping World Truck Series racing team based in Mooresville, North Carolina that is co-owned by Hammond and business executive Tom DeLoach. He is also referred to as Hollywood Hammond by his Fox colleague Darrell Waltrip. He is an alumnus of East Carolina University.
While attending high school at North Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, he was named a 1973-74 High School Prep Football All-American as a cornerback. He played college football at East Carolina University for Pat Dye until he suffered a career-ending injury in 1975.
Hammond's NASCAR career began in 1974 as a tire changer for Walter Ballard, but soon moved to the jackman position. He served on the crew for three championship seasons between Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. In 1982, Hammond was promoted to the crew chief position at Junior Johnson Motorsports for Darrell Waltrip and Waltrip won his second consecutive championship. Hammond and Waltrip became the top driver-crew chief combination in NASCAR, winning 43 races during the eighties including the 1985 Winston Cup championship. Hammond followed Waltrip to Hendrick Motorsports, where they won the 1989 Daytona 500.
In 1991, Waltrip and Hammond formed Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, where the combination clicked again, but in mid-1992, Hammond left after a win at Pocono Raceway when car owner Felix Sabates named him to work with Kenny Wallace for the 1993 season. Hammond teamed up again with Waltrip in 1996, but the two were unable to recapture the magic of the '80's. In 1998, Hammond joined Roush Racing as the crew chief for Chad Little. The combination was an immediate success. Despite failing to qualify for the spring race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Little finished second at the Texas 500, and had a career high 15th place in the championship standings. Hammond stayed at Roush Racing until the end of the 2000 season, including a stint where he was crew chief for the first six races for Kurt Busch, before leaving after he was hired to work at Fox Sports.
Hammond has worked with four NASCAR champions in his career—Cale Yarborough (a mechanic), Darrell Waltrip (a crew chief for two of the three), Terry Labonte (1987 for a few races), and Kurt Busch (2000 in his first races).
When the series moved to Rockingham, NC, for the second race of the season, Fox unveiled a new mobile studio for NASCAR pre-race broadcasts to be used at venues where no permanent on-site studio was available. With Hammond's nickname from the past ("Hollywood"), Waltrip remarked "There's Hollywood Hammond inside the Hollywood Hotel," and the nickname stuck with the broadcast studio where he and Chris Myers broadcast the pre-race shows. He has also donned the "Sparky the Spark Plug" outfit at Texas Motor Speedway races. In 2005, he became an owner of Red Horse Racing's Craftsman Truck program, where they have won two races.
Hammond has also broadcast wrestling events for TNA Wrestling, where during the organization's time where it was broadcast on Fox Sports Net, Hammond hosted an interview segment known as the "Six Points of Impact!" He has also wrestled in TNA.
Hammond's position in the booth is unique. On selected qualifying shows, he will call qualifying from the broadcast booth. On selected qualifying events, he will report from pit road. During the race, he is positioned in the studio but will frequently exit the studio to demonstrate from the cutaway car, and during pit stops will analyse pit stops. Also, because of the long nature of the races, he and Chris Myers will recap the race while there is a break with the main booth (usually during caution flags). Hammond also is able to substitute for a pit reporter if necessary, which happened in 2002 when Steve Byrnes was unable to work the Dodge Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway because of an emergency situation with his wife Karen regarding her pregnancy.
Hammond contributes a regular online column on foxsports.com where fans can write in and he answers one question every column.
- "Jeff Hammond". Roth Talent Associates. Retrieved 2 February 2010.
- Aumann, Mark (February 4, 2008). "Crew chiefs driving force for Daytona 500 winners". NASCAR. Retrieved 1 February 2010.