Throughout the years of motorsports in Ontario, there are several names that have become well-known. Don Hawn became one of those, and now his legacy is being carried forward with the Knightworks Design OSCAAR Hot Rods, with Tyler Hawn feeling a connection to his father each time behind the wheel of the Beaumont.
“We have had several spiritual encounters with Don on race day, at a few different tracks,” team PR rep Ryan Duffie said. “We believe Tyler is not only proud to carry on such a rich and decorated family tradition, he literally hangs out with Don every Saturday, lap for lap in the cockpit of the No. 2. And I believe that trumps all else.”
The Hot Rods certainly also hit another special spot each time at the track for Hawn Motorsports, with seeing what the series has blossomed since being one of the originals to sign up.
“It’s sexy as hell,” Duffie commented. “The class is new and fresh, and yet classic and nostalgic. Doesn’t cost a fortune to come out and race hard with good competitors, and the fans absolutely love it. It’s a relaxed but competitive group, that keeps it cool in the pits, and on track.”
While the sentimental attachment is special, so is the team’s focus on getting back to victory lane in 2021 after missing out last season.
“We experimented a lot with setup in the short time we had in 2020,” Duffie said. “We learned a lot about our car, the hard way, but it was the perfect time to experiment, without points up for grabs. We are confident that we have built the best #2 car yet, and we can’t wait to run.
“Off track, we have a number of new Partners we will be announcing soon! And as soon as this pandemic is over we intend to get out and about with the NRS Brakes Hot Rod making appearances at cruise nights, car meets, classic shows and events throughout Ontario.”
Through their lessons learned, the team was able to recognize the weak spots.
“Our team is a mix of highly experienced members as well as newer members. This can create weak spots in the team performance, from time to time,” Duffie shared. “But as we all continue to share experience, skills and knowledge, we will become even more efficient and effective. One thing is for sure, the pursuit of perfection was never intended to end.”
The hard work being put in by the team points in one direction – focused on the goal of a fourth championship. In the same token, though, they know it won’t be easy, in recognizing “the continued growth and improvement of many teams in the series.”
“Steve Book in the #47 is always a threat,” Duffie added. “Thompson in the #00 has speed, so we expect them to be a factor at the larger tracks. Everyone in this series, is getting better by the event. We ran two-by-two, six or eight rows deep at Jukasa last year for nearly 30 laps! It was nuts! It’s difficult to say who else might be a threat, with all the new cars and cars changing hands. There are several teams who have a shot on any given Saturday.”
While chasing wins at every track is the goal, certainly reaching victory lane at Jukasa Motor Speedway is high on the team’s list.
“It’s nicknamed the Canada’s Crown Jewel, and that is not an exaggeration,” he commented. “Beautiful racing surface, incredible lighting and man o man, the speeds! Hands down our favorite.”
While chasing their own performance, they have certainly set the bar high – and inspired a new generation. The advice to those is simple – learn, learn, and learn some more.
“Surround yourself with people who know racing,” Duffie offered. “Ask questions, do your own research as well. Never stop learning. Work, work, work. If you aren’t putting at least part-time job hours into your car weekly? Don’t expect to win much, in any class. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Most important. Remember that the best and biggest memories come from being tested, not breezing through. Do Not Quit Ever!”
Be sure to keep up with OSCAAR by staying tuned to the series website at http://www.oscaar.ca. Also, make sure to “like” the official OSCAAR Racing Facebook page, while following both the Twitter and Instagram accounts (@OSCAARRacing) to keep up to date on everything you need to know.
OSCAAR’s 2020 racing season was supported by several dedicated partners including Queenston Chevrolet Buick GMC, Knightworks Design, Living Lighting Canada, Scott Reinhart Trailer Sales Ltd., Touchwood Cabinets, Sauble Falls Campground, The Fyre Place & Patio Shop, Ohsweken Speedway, American Racer, and Grisdale Race Products.
By: Ashley McCubbin