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What Moves You Winner Announcement!

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Congratulations Pat! We loved this story of determination, perseverance, and paying it forward. (Photo by Roger Hamilton)

The Speedway Motors story was set in motion 67 years ago with a $300 loan from Bill Smith's fiance Joyce. A few weeks ago, we asked you, our customers "what moves YOU" for a chance to win $300 to help propel your story forward. We were blown away by the response, and we loved that you were willing to share your dreams with us. And now, we're thrilled to announce our winner; Pat Hensen of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, wrote this in his entry:

"15 years ago, my rookie midget racing career was cut short after suffering a season ending crash on my second night of racing. Fast forward 15 years, I managed to put together another car to race an almost full season. I used my midget to inspire my automotive students to learn/apply the science and math they learned to real life experiences involved in a midget car service and set-up. I also use my personal set back to encourage students to not give up on their vision/goals".

Pat's D2 car is based on a Stealth chassis with Ecotec power. The engine is basically stock, save for an oil pan that Pat built and mechanical injection. Swilling methanol, it's good for 8,400 rpm and bulletproof reliability. (Photo by Roger Hamilton)

We had the privilege of speaking to Pat on the phone, and he told us a little more of his story. Like many of us he grew up hanging around the track. His uncle drove the push-truck, and he would sneak Pat and his cousins in with one simple rule; "stay in the truck." A few years later when Pat was in tech school, he drove the push truck himself and the hook was set even deeper.

A little later on, Pat scraped together enough to put his own midget together, and finally got to go racing himself. Then, on the second night of the season, Pat ruined his car in a crash that kept him out of competition for 15 years.

But, when you have a dream, you don't just give up on it. Pat scrimped and saved and was able to put another car together, this one a Stealth chassis with an Ecotec engine. His pit crew consists of him and his son, and they do very well for themselves. Racing last season with the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association, he qualified for the feature in 11 of the 13 races he ran, often running against teams with bigger crews and even bigger budgets.

Here are a few of Pat's students learning the finer points of setting up a race car.

Pat has taught Automotive Technology for 31 years, 26 of those at the school he's at now. He uses his race car as a teaching tool, showing students that there really is a practical application for all that math they're learning. He involves them in the scaling and setup of the car, and he would love to take some of them to the track with him this season. Don't you wish your shop teacher was this cool?

Here are a few of the lucky students that get to benefit from Pat Hensen's passion for racing...and teaching.

We loved Pat's story; his tenacity to live his dream no matter the obstacles, and his passion for passing down to his students his love of racing and his mechanical know-how. We're proud that we can offer him a little help moving his dreams forward.

Thanks again to all of you for sharing "what moves you." We sincerely loved hearing from you, and we hope you'll continue to make Speedway Motors part of your story. For more on our contest and our winner, check out the video below!

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