ORO-STATION, ON- When Tyler Hawn loaded his Super Late Model onto his trailer at Sunset Speedway on May 16th – the general consensus amongst his family-run team was that their season had ended before it had begun.
After blowing the team’s lone motor – with no budget to replace it – it seemed as though Hawn would be relegated to the sidelines. However, with some help from his peers, Hawn is now completing preparations to be in the field when the OSCAAR Tour returns to Sunset Speedway this Saturday.
“If you had told me three weeks ago that we would be here prepping our car, I would never have believed you,” explains Hawn, his lips curling up into his trademark smile. “That motor we blew was everything that I had. When it let go on me, I felt like someone had just punched me in the stomach”
Hawn was en route to a strong finish in a heat race qualifier during Sunset’s ‘Spring Velocity’ event when his engine let go midway down the back straightaway – rocketing his No. 42 into the turn-3 wall. As the tow truck returned Hawn’s battered entry to the pit area, he was already signaling to his team that they were finished.
“I don’t think it’s a secret that we’re a small budget team,” offers the second-generation competitor. “We do absolutely everything that we can to keep our car on the track – and that’s difficult to do at the best of times. We have one chassis and one motor. To have that level of terminal failure on the first night of the season pretty much crippled our budget”
As bleak as things seemed, a phone call from one of the tour’s veteran car-owners offered an opportunity to reverse Hawn’s fortunes for the better.
“Bill Passer called me out of the blue and asked what it would take to get us back on track,” says ‘Kodiak’. “I barely got done telling him about our motor troubles before he was making plans for me to come and pick up one of his backups. I can’t even verbalize how much that means to me and the team. My family has known the Passers for a long time – and for Bill to show us that level of kindness is pretty amazing”
The team would not have been ready for Round 2 of the tour at Flamboro Speedway on May 30th – but the weekend’s rainout worked to Hawn’s advantage.
“Flamboro raining out last week was a blessing for us,” says Hawn. “We took a big hit in the point standings by not starting the Sunset feature, but if we had missed Flamboro as well the whole season would be gone. At least now we still have a fighting chance at a strong finish in the standings”
“We just want to come into this weekend and get some laps under us. Just because we missed a Round doesn’t mean we’re going to come out and try to win this race on the first lap. With all the work we’ve had to do in the last three weeks – I would be thrilled just to drive the car onto the trailer at the end of the night without any damage”
As the team nears the completion of their pre-race setup, Hawn takes a moment to reflect on those that have lent a hand in facilitating his return.
“This entire roster is full of amazing people,” beams the young veteran. “Guys like Shane Gowan, Sean Grosman and JR Fitzpatrick have called or texted every single day to see how they could lend a hand. For me, that’s what racing is all about. I wouldn’t want to race against anyone else, and I’m just grateful beyond words that we’re going to get a second chance at a season that we thought was lost.”
Details, including gate times and ticket prices, for the June 6th event can be found at www.SunsetSpeedway.ca.
Tyler’s OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour return is sponsored by Stewart Carries Limited, Fox’s Bakery & Deli, TSS Top Shops, BELT Conveyor Guarding, Backwoods Maple Syrup, Write-it-out-loud.com and Wellington Brewery.
Fans can stay up to date with Tyler and the rest of the team by visiting their Hawn Motorsports page on Facebook or the all new www.HawnMotorsports.ca.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)