SAPULPA, Oklahoma – The need for speed is vital in the Hahn family. Blake Hahn races sprint cars all over the United States. Hahn is a Mvskoke citizen through his maternal side, grew up in Sapulpa, and has a passion for going fast and turning left. Although his mother, Vickey, does not race, she is a big supporter of her son and very proud of his accomplishments.
Vickey is the one who reached out to Mvskoke Media to share his story.
“I’m just a proud mother and Muscogee citizen who would like to get Blake’s story out there,” she said.
Hahn can also share racing with his wife Sierra and daughter Lennix. Although Sierra did not grow up around racing, she loves it and supports her husband. Like her father, Lennix is growing up at the racetrack. Only time will tell if she follows in her father’s footsteps.
So, what exactly is a sprint car? A sprint car is an open-wheeled car with an engine block that sits directly in front of the driver’s cockpit. Sprint car racing takes place on a quarter mile or half mile dirt track, and speeds can reach over 150 miles per hour.
The Hahn family’s passion for sprint car racing started with Emmett Hahn, Blake’s grandfather, in the 1960s. According to Hahn, his grandfather raced for about 20 to 25 years and was pretty successful. Throughout that time, Hahn’s grandmother traveled with his grandfather to races. Having kids did not slow them down or keep them from racing. They just brought the kids along too.
Hahn said, “It was a family affair for them right from the beginning and just started running deeper and deeper for us.”
In 1987 Hahn’s grandfather founded the Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tvlse, Okla. The Chili Bowl is a midget class sprint car race, and the winner takes home the Golden Driller. A midget sprint car is what it sounds like, a smaller version of a standard sprint car. This year is the 35th annual race. Hahn has won eight Golden Drillers so far in his career.
After his racing career ended, Hahn’s grandfather became more involved as a promoter and started the American Sprint Car Series in 1992. According to the ASCS racing website, he started it with a “simple idea of promoting and growing the sport of Sprint Car racing through honesty, fairness, and integrity.”
Hahn’s father, Tom Hahn, and his two siblings helped their father with all things racing. He also raced sprint cars for eight years and was able to compete with his father, Emmett, for a couple of years. He is now the pit team manager for his son.
Like his father, Hahn grew up around sprint racing.
“At a young age, I was around the racetrack, and my grandpa and family were deeply involved in racing,” Hahn said. “I would watch races on the weekend, and of course, being a kid watching the cars, that’s something I’d want to do.”
Hahn started racing at eight and has now won around 150 races.
“When I was eight years old, my dad got me my first race car, a micro,” Hahn said. “It was a little bit smaller than sprint cars.”
“It’s kind of a steppingstone for kids to learn and to get into those and to make their way up to the midget and then to the sprint cars eventually,” he continued.
After graduating high school, Hahn was approached by a guy in Houston, Texas, to race for national points. He began living his dream of traveling nationwide, racing with his dad and best friend.
Hahn competes with a 360 cubic block engine sprint car in the ASCS based out of Oklahoma. This car can reach around 160 mph and 775 horsepower because of the weight-to-speed ratio. Sprint cars can run with or without a wing on top of the vehicle. However, the wing produces a downward force allowing for higher speeds.
“Our goal is to go as fast as possible the whole time around the track,” Hahn said. “On the corners, sometimes we’re going 60 to 90 miles an hour.”
Racers can reach higher speeds on the straightaways of half-mile tracks than on a quarter-mile track.
He travels to multiple states across the country to compete throughout the year. Racers compete for a cash prize at each race, but each race also counts towards their overall performance record for an end-of-the-year accolade.
“We’re all competing basically to be as consistent as possible to see who’s the champion at the end of the year,” Hahn said.
According to a recent Facebook post by Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series, Hahn was “voted the 2022 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and Museum, 360 Driver and Team of the Year.” This is only one of his many accomplishments during his career.
Hahn recently raced in the Tulsa Shootout Dec. 26 – 31 at the Expo Center, where he placed 9th. He has another race coming up, the Chili Bowl Nationals Jan. 9 – 14, 2023, at the Sagenet Center in Tulsa. Check out Hahn’s website, www.blakehahnracing.com, or his Facebook page Blake Hahn Racing for upcoming races and other information.