It has been awhile since I have inducted anyone into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame, but the wait is over. A couple of great guys are about to be inducted. These two gentlemen are past champions and long ago should have been in a local Hall of Fame. They have accomplished much in the local Kansas City racing community. Both are highly respected individuals. Both will tell you they think others should be inducted before them, but they thrilled us for years, challenged us for years, and both are second generations drivers. We enjoyed watching their Dads race before they came along as youngsters. Oh, the stories, the craziness, the fun, the talent, let us get started.
Today’s inductee ran his Dad’s racecar number, sort of, and we will get back to that story. This driver started on the dirt racing Lakeside Speedway and Riverside Stadium. When Lakeside and I-70 Speedways were both asphalt and racing every Friday and Saturday night under the NASCAR sanction this driver was a winner. Recently a Facebook post asked who was the winningest driver at I-70 Speedway? This Racingkc.com Hall of Fame inductee was headed to being one of the top winningest drivers at the track when an accident caused him to get out of the driver’s seat.
Here are the stats we know about this driver, he was the 1980 Lakeside Speedway Late Model Most Improved Driver, in 1981 he repeated as Most Improved Driver in the Late Model Division but at Riverside Stadium, in 1982 he received a Special Sportsmanship Award at Topeka Raceway Park, in 1983 he claimed his first championship as Late Model Champion at Riverside Stadium, at some point he began competing in the Modifieds, he won two championships in one year, he won back to back championships, he won the last modified feature race competed in 1993 at Lakeside Speedway before the flood took over the track, he had 33 wins on the asphalt at I-70 Speedway and 17 wins on the Lakeside Speedway asphalt. The two championships were won in 1991, one at Lakeside Speedway and the other at I-70 Speedway. The back to back championships were at I-70 Speedway when he was crowned the Modified Champion after the 1992 racing season. When he left the driver’s seat, he became one of the most sought-after crew chiefs in the area. In fact, he has flown to Daytona Beach to assist a young modified driver at Volusia Speedway.
This driver as previously mentioned is a second-generation driver. He grew up in the salvage yard business. Racing his dad’s number, sort of, well his dad’s number was a three-digit number. Rather than copy that number, and NASCAR did not allow anything other than two-digit numbers, this driver added his dad’s number together (171) to come up with his single number 9. One of the best Kansas City area drivers, today we congratulate and induct Jim Hager’s son, Jamie Hager into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame. That young modified driver he assists none other than Clint Bowyer. In a USA Today interview who did Clint give credit for helping his racing career, Jeff Cassidy, Jeff Stacy, and Jamie Hager. So once again, today we honor Jamie Hager with induction into the Racingkc.com Hall of Fame. Congratulations Jamie!!!!