With just one finish off the podium, Daniel Hawn put together an impressive OSCAAR Pro Midget rookie campaign en route to a runner-up in the standings.
“2017 was an emotional year for us with the passing of my dad,” he said. “It was extremely hard for me and my family and still is. Nevertheless, racing is what we know so that’s what we did. Racing wise, it was an amazing year for me. Coming up nine points short of a championship my first year can pretty much sum that question up for itself.
Starting off the year at Peterborough Speedway, Hawn was quick right from the beginning as he scored three straight runner-up finishes. Unfortunately, the early success was halted at Flamboro Speedway at the end of July, with his lone result off the podium due to a mechanical issue on Lap 7 while running in the top-three.
Returning to Peterborough in August, Hawn immediately got his season back on-track, scoring a runner-up in the first feature, before picking up his first career victory in the second. He then headed to Grand Bend Speedway, with the momentum continuing with a runner-up and third. The stretch carried Hawn back to Sauble, where he scored a memorable close second to Jordan Hanna.
“I did what my dad told me to do last time we were there, and that was be patient and smooth when Jordan passes you (cause that’s what always happened),” he said. “So when I went back that next race, I took my Dad’s advice and after Jordan passed me early in the race, I just relaxed. I spent awhile reeling him in, and after I calmed down, I started to catch him. The last three laps of that race was incredible. Lost by a few inches and that went down as the closet race in pro midget history.”
The loss was exactly what Hawn needed, though, as it set him up for an impressive stretch to close the 2017 season. Returning to Flamboro, Hawn swept both of the features, after pacing the field prior to the first event as the crowd took a momentum of silence to honor his father Don Hawn.
He then picked up the win at Grand Bend Speedway, moving into first on Lap 11 and pacing the rest of the way for the Frostoberfest feature victory. The driver of the No. 2 Watson’s Garage, TSS Top Shops, Fox’s Bakery and Deli Pro Midget then rounded out the season in domination, leading all the laps en route an Autumn Colours Classic win.
“I told my brother (Tyler Hawn) and crew that I will win that race (ACC) at the end of the year…… and look what happened,” he said. “Something just clicked the last five to six races. I knew it in my heart that we would win the rest of the year if we could stay out of trouble.”
On behalf of OSCAAR, congratulations to Daniel Hawn on a successful 2017 campaign. We wish you the best of luck entering this year and beyond.