AMA Grand National number 67 Mike Hacker announced today that he has had a friendly parting with the Saddlemen Racing/Lancaster Harley-Davidson/Dodge Brothers racing team run by fellow Virginians Johnny and Sarah Goad after campaigning on the national dirt track trail with them for the past two seasons.
"It was a great two years with Johnny and Sarah, and this is probably the hardest decision that I have ever had to make in my racing career," said Hacker, who is celebrating his 26th birthday today. "I really can't say anything negative about my time with them."
After losing his ride with the Moroney's Harley-Davidson team at the end of 1999, Hacker enjoyed two solid top-five seasons with the Goads, earning his first career Grand National victory at the inaugural Charlotte Half Mile in 2000 and following that up with a fifth-place finish in the series standings. Hacker posted several top-five finishes in 2001 to land fifth overall at the end of that season as well. Hacker's reason for leaving? Ironically enough, an offer that he couldn't resist.
"I've rejoined the Moroney's Harley-Davidson team, but it's not something that I can really talk a lot about because we haven't ironed out all the details yet," Hacker said. "We'll know a lot more at the beginning of next week, but I do know that I can't wait for the 2002 season to start."
Attempts to reach the Goads for comment were unsuccessful as of this post, but when we learn of their future plans, you'll read about them here. For his part, Hacker insists that there are no hard feelings.
"I learned a lot with Johnny and Sarah," Hacker said. "Johnny is a great motivator, and they were a great family to be around. I hope that Johnny picks somebody else up and gets them up to speed. His helping people like me is good for the sport."