With only one finish off the podium all season, Daniel Hawn put together a stellar OSCAAR Pro Sprint sophomore campaign en route to being crowned the 2018 Champion.
“Looking back on how we ended the 2017 season, we had high expectations coming into this year,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS. “And to be honest, following my expectations up (which are very high), was incredible. We knew we had the car and equipment to beat, so making sure I didn’t make any mistakes was key. A little lady luck also helped as well. I never thought that racing would come so natural to me until I really think about it. I spent every weekend at the race track since I was young, my dad was a multi-time champion and my brother is a hell of a wheel man as while as a multi-time champ. I guess you could say it’s in my blood; I’ll have to say thanks to the Pops for that!”
The success this season was no surprise as Hawn came close to winning the title in his rookie season, ending the year ranked second to Jordan Hanna.
“I think personally that when I came in second to Jordan all those races at the start of the year, it made me a better driver,” he commented. “It also helped me learn the car; I would change everything to try and squeeze those last few tenths out of her.”
Consistency was key for Hawn with 10 wins across the season, including six in a row to start off the year.
“Me and my team put countless hours in the car,” he commented. “This year wasn’t really any different than last year, I keep changing stuff on the car to try and gain some more speed. Sometimes it back fired, but most of the time at every track I went back to, we were a few tenths faster. To be the top runner in any division takes a lot of time and dedication. Some people have it in them and some people don’t; I think that my team has proved that we are the car to beat everywhere we go.”
A season with a championship is always memorable, but also seeing others succeed whom he had helped was rewarding as well for Hawn.
“There was a few I would say,” Hawn said in regards to memorable moments. One is watching Tyler Cullen finished third at Flamboro speedway. The look on that young man’s face was priceless and I will never forget it. Second would sweeping all the Sunset races; I really showed everyone what I was made of on the fastest track we go to. Going from 10th to second in just one corner on the high side was an incredible feeling. Finally, I would say going back to Sauble Speedway and getting that surf board that we all wanted. I came with in inches last year of winning so to go back and dominate there was awesome. Also, not to mention, finishing second and third at Sauble were two good friends so it made the weekend perfect.”
While he had his own success, the series also saw growth for it’s second season in the books as 24 different competitors throughout the campaign and eight of those able to win heat races.
“There are a lot of drivers that have made many leaps,” Hawn said. “James Stanley, for starters; if he didn’t have such a bad luck bug up his ass, he would have been right behind me in the standings. He will be a top contender, if not the one to beat next year, so watch out for that 57 car. In a lot of ways the set up is identical to mine; we have spent many hours to get that car almost perfect. Norman Newman is also going to be a guy to watch out for, but again has that same bug. Last is the young kid of Jaden Riddell in the 15 car. The only other car to get a feature win this year other then me; he will be one also to watch to be a contender.
“I am extremely happy with how the series is progressing with the talent in the field. If we can keep getting these cars to the track and have full fields, this series will be something huge. We have the speed, the talent, the racing action, we just need to make sure to get the cars to the track, the rest will take care of itself. I always want to give a huge shout out to Charles (Priestley). He is the one with the vision and the drive to make this series what it is. We are lucky to have him and very grateful of all the work that he puts into this. Thank you, Charles truly.”
While the 2018 season may have just finished, the focus has already began to shift to 2019 with everybody wondering what is in the cards. For Hawn Motorsports, they will have their busy with a Lucas Oil Can-Am T.Q. Midget, Pro Sprint, Hot Rod, and Ontario Outlaw Super Late Model all set to be in action at some point during the year. However, the exact plans for Daniel, though, are yet to be revealed.
“The answer will have to be left unsaid,” he expressed. “I am underway in making huge upgrades on both of my Can-Am and the Pro Sprint, even though my Pro Sprint is a convincing championship car. I know that there is a lot of speed left in it, and we are ready to show up next year and maybe go for that 2 peat, but time will just have to tell. But for now, I’m happy working on the cars to get them both up to par to win.”
For his success this season, though, Hawn would like to thank his sponsors, team, and family for their support…..
“I want to take a minute and thank my sponsors Darrel at TSS Top Shops for the amazing paint, Josh Watson at Watson Garage for making my car look so good with the body and paint, Steve Fox at Fox’s Bakery and Deli who is a huge part of our team who I can’t continue to thank enough from the bottom of my heart, Hwy 400 transmission and last Robbie Hosking of Hosking race engines. I have messaged or called him probably over 250+ times over the season for advice on clutches and ways to get faster. I truly appreciate everything you did for me this year. You are a gem! I would also like to give a shout tout to Mack DeMan for everything you also have done from day one and getting me hooked on the Can-Am. I’m excited to start the next chapter of my racing career with the Can-Am.
“Now to thank my brother (Tyler Hawn) for always believing me and pushing me to be the best that I can. You are one hell of a role model and wheel man. You have huge shoes to fill; I just hope that I haven’t disappointed you trying to get to there. I still have a lot of learning to do but I’m willing to put the time in. I’m happy to spend every weekend at the track with you and the countless hours on the cars. Seeing you wheel that Hot Rod has been some of the best memories of my life. No one can deny how good you truly are and now we get that inaugural word off our car and get crowned the true OSCAAR Hot Rod champion this year.
“And to sign off this interview I want to say Dad we did it buddy, we fucking did it!!!!!! I just wish you were here to see what me and Tyler have accomplished; it’s truly something. It’s all for you and in your name. I want to make sure when people hear the Hawn name, they know they must bring their best cause you know for a fact we are. Till we meet again man, I love you so much and stay sweet.
“Ashley, everyone should also give you a shout out for everything you do for the racing community. From the pictures, to the write ups and interviews, we are lucky that you love the sport so much. Thanks from everyone at Hawn Motorsports!”