With a month left before the first race of the 2015 OSCAAR Super Late Model campaign, second-generation racer Tyler Hawn is preparing his family-run operation for what he hopes to be a breakthrough season.
After news of 2014 tour champion Andrew Gresel’s decision to step back from fulltime Super Late Model competition, the OSCAAR tour will open 2015 in search of a new titlist.
“I can’t remember the last time the OSCAAR field has been so wide open,” says Hawn. “Everyone is so equal. There are 10 drivers on this tour that could win on any given night.”
After an off-season spent tearing down and retrofitting his Brian MacDonald-built chassis, Hawn is ready to go toe-to-toe with some of the province’s most accomplished competitors.
“The guys on this tour are some of the hardest working drivers I’ve ever raced against,” explains ‘Kodiak’. “It feels like everyone has been thrashing on their cars since the moment they got home from the last race in October. I truly believe this could be the most competitive season the tour has ever had.
“OSCAAR has such a short schedule that there really isn’t any room for error. You can’t afford a misstep,” continues Hawn when asked about a possible strategy. “We’re not worried about a game plan that lasts past the first night of racing. We’re in this for a championship – but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We’re going to take every night one step at a time.”
After four seasons spent “paying dues” on tour, the 28-year old is quick to note just how eager he is to vault into championship contention.
“Whenever I think about the 2015 season, I see opportunity,” smiles the fan-favorite. “This is the perfect chance for our team to show the rest of the tour what we’re capable of. I’m confident our team can run with the best on this tour – and I think we’ll have every chance to show them how good we can be this year.”
Despite Hawn’s limited budget, the former Mini Stock standout believes that a blue-collar work ethic and relentless dedication will help bridge the gap between himself and his more well-funded adversaries.
“Just a win against this level of competition would mean the world to our team. We don’t have anywhere close to the budget that a lot of guys are working with. There’s no endless amount of resources here – we just try and spend our money in the right places. We’re a volunteer-only type of outfit. Through the week, it’s mostly just my brother, my Dad and I wrenching.
“I can’t control how they outspend us. But I can control how we outwork them.”
-By Spencer Lewis, Speed51.com Canadian Editor – Twitter: @itsspencerlewis
-Photo credit: Dan Little Photography