Letters

Letters 02-02-2015

History Lesson  “The days of cheap oil and easy acquisition are over. “ -- President Obama, June 2010

A Study In Mudslinging In the January 12 issue of Northern Express, Grant Parsons wrote a piece that touched on behind-the-scenes campaign financing. Mr. Parsons referenced attack ads he received in the mail prior to the November elections.

Sad Story I read with sadness in the Detroit Free Press of 24-year-old Angela Marie Alexie, who abandoned her just born baby boy in an unheated Eastpoint, Michigan garage to die alone in the cold, and who had also previously lost 3 children to foster care, the youngest of which, a girl, suffered withdrawal symptoms because of Alexie’s drug use during pregnancy.

Balance On The Page Having looked through the Northern Express for years, I have finally found something worth reading besides News of the Weird and the Advice Goddess!

An Eye On Congress The U.S. Senate on January 21 voted 98 for and 1 against to adopt a non-binding resolution stating, “It is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”

Home · Articles · News · Features · All guts and glory
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All guts and glory

Erin Cowell - July 19th, 2010
All Guts & Glory: Local rally car racer strives for X Games gold on bronze-level budget
By Erin Crowell
Most—if not every—rally car at the 2010 X Games in Los Angeles will boast big name sponsors, their hoods, panels and roofs plastered with car company and energy drink logos. Among them will be a little white Subaru, number 523, driven by Traverse City resident Travis Hanson. Aside from a few local sponsors, this rally car will be representing itself, with nothing but determination, and a little personal cash, to get it to the finish line on July 31.

THE INVITE
Rally car racing, or rallying, involves a driver racing a street legal car along a closed cross-country course, full of hairpin turns, mud pits and hill jumps. The driver who can complete the course in the fastest amount of time, wins.
X Games recently added the sport to its extreme action sports schedule in 2006. Other events at X Games include bmx bike racing, skateboarding, surfing, motocross and freeskiing.
In 2008, Hanson, 25, along with father Terry, were invited to the 14th X Games (also in Los Angeles) as an alternate, meaning the father-son team of T. Hanson Motorsports would have the opportunity to race, if—and only if—another car were to drop out of the competition.
Luckily for the Hansons, “if” happened.
“One team was practicing and the car jumped one of the 70-foot-gaps (on the race course) and landed on its front,” says Travis. “They broke the motor and couldn’t compete. We were in.”Hanson didn’t win gold, but did, however, manage to pull an upset by knocking race favorite Niall McShea in the preliminary match up.
Because of their 2008 performance, along with a successful 2010 season, T. Hanson is invited back to X Games – this time they won’t need to wait for anyone to drop out.
“I expect nothing less from Travis at X Games 16,” said J.B. Niday, Rally America’s managing director, in a recent press release.

ALL SKILLS
However, that doesn’t mean Team Hanson is entirely in the clear. While most, if not all, rally competitors at X Games will have backup in the form of major sponsorships, Hanson is depending on a personal budget, luck and skills to get them to the start line.
As of press time, Hanson was competing in New Hampshire at the New England Forest Rally.
“We’ll race this, and hopefully make it to X Games,” says Hanson.
Several months ago, Hanson rolled the Subaru WRX STi, damaging the paneling; and although it was minor, and the team received help from Cherry Capital Subaru and Olson’s Auto Body, the event was enough to set back the team in time and money.
“I couldn’t have paid for all of it by myself,” says Hanson.
Rally car racers generally run on a budget of $50,000-$70,000 per race while their team spends just under $5,000, says Hanson.
“Other teams buy lots and lots of tires, which are really expensive,” he says. “I can only buy four for an event while they’re buying 20 or 30.”
The team, which includes four to five friends on mechanical support, also travels across country for the races.
“It chews up a lot of my time,” says Hanson.
Before he got into racing back in 2003, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Kettering University. Last year, he conducted research for the Department of Defense, driving vehicles on loose surfaces.
Hanson was laid off last year and now works for a rally school to help counter the costs of his full-time racing career.
“We’re putting all our eggs in one basket,” Hanson laughs. “It’s all about skill.”
Hanson says obtaining a major sponsor would help immensely, but it doesn’t mean the team isn’t striving to do its best out west.
“It’s going to be tough this year because there’s a lot of teams who have stepped up their game as far as their car improvements and preparation. I’ve been pretty limited as far as funding goes, but we make up for it in heart and effort.”

 
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