• Last Race of ’12

    Petaluma Speedway hosted it’s first injected 360 Non-Wing Sprint Car Race on October 13th. The Adobe Cup attracted 18 sprint teams who were informed at the drivers meeting that the track was left dry & slick intentionally to give the regular Spec Sprint competitors more of a chance against the injected cars. Sebastopol’s Geoff Ensign was quick time in the VanLare 5v over Santa Rosa’s, Marty Hawkins, Sparky Howard, Nick Larsen, and Colton Slack. Ensign made quick work of Heat Race #1 as he picked up the win over Jim Richardson. Colton Slack won Heat Race #2 over Klint Simpson, and Billy Aton beat Scotty Dupont to the checkers in Heat Race #3. With no cushion to lean on, the feature event quickly went single file as the beautiful red #32 of Colton Slack took the early lead from his outside front row starting spot. Pole sitter, Billy Aton slid into second as Marty Hawkins worked his way into third when Nick Larsen encountered troubles early. Running in fourth place, Sparky Howard felt the pressure of teammate Geoff Ensign all race long, as Ensign repeatedly tried the outside of turns 1 & 2 on every restart. Throughout the race Hawkins pulled to the inside of Aton twice coming off turn four but didn’t have enough to complete the pass. With about 6 laps to go Colton Slack appeared to hook the inside berm and turned around, handing the lead to Aton. On the final restart Aton brought em’ down slow and stacked the field behind him coming off turn four. Geoff Ensign used it to his advantage as he got alongside Howard and passed him going into turn one, but with only a few laps left, third Petaluma Speedwaywas as far as he could get. Billy Aton took the win with 19 year old Marty Hawkins in second and Ensign in third. It didn’t sound like any of the three drivers were very happy with the track, as they all made comments in their trackside interviews. Aton was happy to be in victory lane. Marty Hawkins said he flew home from Southern California (where he is a junior in college) just to race in Petaluma. He said he wished they raced more injected non-wing shows just 15 minutes from home. All in all, it was a good night of racing and if there had been a little cushion, Ensign would have surely made it a three car battle to the end.

    -David Bell, Sprint Spat Assoc. XXIX 2012, Original Post (http://www.hoseheadforums.com/forum.cfm?ThreadID=72301#thread366245)


  • Goodbye for now, but one last thing…

    Labor day weekend marked the last race I would run before headed off to start another chapter in my life, college. Both my Dad and I worked our tails off and was able to put two complete cars together, with the help of borrowed parts from Jimmy VanLare. Unfortunately, it was no Cinderella Story as our weekend was plagued with bad luck. Continue reading 


  • Another Eventful Chico/Pville Weekend

    Marty’s Love/Hate relationship continues at Chico and Placerville. Ever since Marty’s first trip to the Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, he has really enjoyed racing there. That’s kinda funny considering he has two DNF’s and a 17th place finish in Chico and two DNF’s at Pville. This past weekend started out pretty good. Marty hadn’t raced in 3 weeks because he was finishing up summer classes at the JC. During the long layoff he got everything ready to go racing, so we closed up early on Friday and headed to Chico to race with the USAC WCRS Sprints. As usual, it was smokin’ hot in Chico, and yet they built a pretty darn good track. Marty has had some decent finishes in his last couple outings, so he decided to spend some money on a new right rear tire (only the 2nd one this year, and the first one was bought by a friend of ours). Continue reading 


  • CRA at Ocean

    After a disappointing DNF at Hanford I was ready to get back to Ocean Speedway where we managed to get a 5th earlier in the year. Running again with CRA, only this time we kept the 360 in, unfortunately do mainly to time. Either way, we were ready. We arrived in Watsonville where is was rather cold, and the track was looking fairly decent. In hot laps the car felt good and I was anticipating a good night. However, the folks at Ocean had different thoughts. After hot laps they went out with tractors and scrapped the cushion off. The result was not surprising. Slow laps on a slick track. Unfortunately for Dustin Baxter, who had his first run in a 410, was not prepared for the changes that had been made to the track. Heading out early he hauled the car into turn three, where it managed to slide all the way to the wall, and then proceeded to launch out of the park. Thankfully Dustin was alright, but wasn’t able to get the car back together. After qualifying the track prep again went out and worked on the track for a good half hour. Putting the blade on it and ripping it up, while putting some water on. Being in heat one we weren’t ready for the changes. We qualified 10th which put us in the third row of our heat, and pretty much just stayed there to finish 7th. I wasn’t very excited about not getting the car to go forward, but thankfully we did not have to run a semi. We lined up 12th for the main, but once again wasn’t ready for what the track had to offer. The top was nothing to get a hold of, and my set-up made the bottom feel like a row boat in the ocean. I tried every line I could think of but still ended up in 14th. Needless to say I was frustrated. Instead of showing up to race against the CRA group, we showed up to race Ocean Speedway. It might have got us this time, but I wont let that happen again.


  • Back to 360′s At Hanford

    Well, we went back to Hanford again. This time with the West Coast 360 group. I was hoping we would be back up to speed with the 360 group, but after qualifying 15th out of 19 that would prove to be trivial. We started in the front row of our heat and since everyone was to make the main event we figured we would test out some set ups. We went from first to fourth in our heat and me being the inexperienced mechanic that I am, really didn’t know what to do to make the car go forward. So what does everyone do when they don’t know the answer? You guess! And in terms of racing and wanting to be competitive, we guessed pretty aggressively. Unfortunately all our guessing was for not. The track was slick and most people where running over each other on the bottom. On lap 5 some cars got bottled up in front of me. In an attempt to avoid it I ended up clipping the left front tire off someone else’s car and knocked the front end out. It’s a bummer that the only time I got to test out the set up was under yellow and in heavy traffic. It would have been interesting to see what the car would have done in open air. Nevertheless, we got it all put back together, loaded it up and headed home.


  • Hanford USAC/CRA May 19th

    We haven’t raced with the CRA boys since the Gold Cup in Chico last year, so we were excited to bolt in the 410 and head to Hanford. Our great friend and sponsor, Ron Nicholson had our 410 freshened up at Bailey Bros. last year and we are still trying to figure out how to get all that horsepower to the ground. We didn’t qualify very well and finished 6th in our heat as the car just seemed loose. The CRA guys don’t have any trouble getting it to the ground. They run cockpit adjustable shocks on the car that can cost around $2000, and they know how to tune em’ during a race. We have one cockpit adjustable shock on the left rear, but our biggest struggle was once again tires. While most guys were on the wider and softer HTW right rear tire, we still had the harder DT3 that CRA ran last year and we didn’t have $500 for a couple new tires. We must’ve changed the gear 4 times throughout the night in an attempt to stop the wheel spin. After throwing some drastic stuff at our set-up, our pal Steve Ostling (USAC official and former New Mexico Sprint Car Champion) made a deal with Bruce Bromme for a nice used tire. After working out the trade details, we mounted it up. I started 14th and right away could feel the difference. We had a long green flag run and I worked my way to 8th before the yellow came out for a car that spun. The yellow seemed to last a long time and I think the tire cooled and sealed over, because once we went back to green, I just couldn’t get a hold of the top like I was earlier. I drifted over turn two and lost a few spots and had a great battle with Rusty Carlisle. At the end, I finished 11th and was really happy with how well our 410 ran. We want to congratulate Danny Faria who got his first CRA win in a commanding drive….Nice job! We also want to Thank Ron Nicholson and The Toiyabe Group once again for the motor work and all the support they have given us over the years! Thanks to Jimmy VanLare at VanLare Steering Repair for their support as well! Finally we want to Thank Steve-O and the Ron Chaffin gang for the tire! OH YA…and THANK YOU Grandpa for the use of your truck! It takes a lot of great people to keep us racing, and we can’t thank them enough.


  • “Chris & Brian Faria Memorial” May 11th & 12th

    Mom covered for us at the shop while we took Friday off for the Tulare Thunderbowl and two nights of USAC West Coast 360 racing. The race is in memory of two of the Faria brothers, and it’s the first time we’ve been able to make this race and show some support for our good friend, Danny Faria and his family. Marty qualified 8th out of a stout field of 28 cars, but then things just got slicker and slicker. Starting deep in his heat, Marty would only get to 5th and would need to run the semi in order to make the main event. He would finish 2nd in the Semi, but wore a new left rear tire half way out doing it. We made some more changes to the car and lined up for the main. Marty tried every line on the track, from rubbing the fence, to hooking the berm. At the end of the show, he had dropped to 17th and wasn’t happy. The track was so slick and dusty and he just couldn’t get a hold of anything. After the race, our new friend Johnny Vermeer came over and dropped off a new right rear tire for Sunday night.
    Sunday was hot while Marty washed his car and did his regular maintenance routine. Johnny showed up with more help in the way of some tire bleeders to keep the pressures down as the tires get hot. Qualifying didn’t go as well, ending up 19th out of 33 cars, but he did transfer straight out of the heat race and that meant we didn’t need to wear out any tires in the semi. Lining up deep in the main event, Marty was patient as he raced in heavy traffic and worked his way into the top ten and passed about 5 cars in the last five laps to bring the Blakeley Landscaping maxim home in 7th place. New tires made all the difference and Marty felt pretty good after this one. We don’t get alot of double headers and it was nice to get a second night and a second chance to get things right.
    We’d like to Thank Johnny Vermeer and his boys for coming by and helping us out. We really appreciate their generosity. Thanks to all the folks who helped make the Faria Memorial a great event. Thanks to the volunteers from KWS who put on the breakfast Sunday morning (Marty and I don’t eat to well when were gone…so Thank You). We also want to Thank Donny Austin at Nor Cal Drive-line and Johnny Franklin’s Driveline Service, along with Frank Giammona at Santa Rosa Auto Parts. These are just some of the wonderful folks that make racing possible for us.


  • Watsonville 4/20

    After getting rained out from Tulare we took a week off and then headed to Ocean Speedway for the first race in the Western Classic Racing series. We started off the night by qualifying 7th and then being told that our car was among the loudest and warned that if we did not fix the problem that we would be asked to leave. We ended up changing the headers back to the old suitcases and headed out for our heat race. Continue reading 


  • First Race of ’12

    With the paint and lettering not quit done, the Hawkins Motorsports Team loaded up the sprinter and headed to Hanford for their first USAC West Coast 360 race of the year. Marty was the second car out to qualify and did a nice job of getting up to speed on lap one and that was a good thing because on lap two, the power steering hose blew off and drenched him in oil. One lap was was all he needed to set 7th quick out of the 30 cars that showed up. Continue reading 


  • USAC Nationals at Hanford 11/12/11

    Marty has run the Oval Nationals for the last three years since he started in sprint cars and we made the trip to race Perris at least 5 times last year, so it was kind of a bummer not to get to Perris even once this whole year. We watched the Oval Nationals over the internet and cheered for Bernal, Gutierrez, Faria, Forsberg and the rest of the Northern bunch. The next week we headed for Hanford to race against the National guys for the first time this year. We still had the 360 in the Eagle, but were determined to make the show. Continue reading 



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