A note from me:
Many a men will sit and talk of racing and life in general, but I had the honor of speaking with a man. A man who was not afraid to speak with another about his love for his wife. A man who would exclaim how he was the luckiest man alive because of whom he was married to. Bobby's wife Kirsten (Kris) was his reason for living, his reason for staying alive, his reason for breath. Many occasions over the last two years would reveal those words from Bobby, and it was always a refreshing time for me to hear another man speak as a man about his wife. It was this "quality" of Bobby Hansen that I admired most.
I shall miss that quality. I shall miss Bobby Hansen.
Common sense, and the will to win!
Fremont , Nebraska over the years has produced a number of young racers that went on to be contenders in one way or another. Bobby Hansen is one of them. A six-year old in the mid fifties, Bobby was that little kid that bugged the heck out of the older guys that had cars. He wanted to know how they worked, how they ran, and what would make them run faster. “Back on fourth street ”, Bobby said the older guys were running 40's coupes and sedans and making them run fast; from changing the motors to a Buick, Olds, or Caddy, trying different transmissions and rear-ends. The love of racing started at an early age, and that love is still strong fifty years later.
Bobby started with his first car at age fourteen, something that was common back in those days. His first car was a 1953 Chevy 4-door that he paid $50 for. As with everyone, the first car was always the best. Learning what he could do with that car and how fast he could make it was the beginning of a racer. Blowing trannys, u-joints, and rear-ends was just part of the learning. He later moved on to a '58 Chevy 2-door, then to a '62 SS Impala (my favorite), a '65 Chevy, and finally he broke into the Mopar world with a Duster. The typical friendly feuding between Chevy enthusiasts and Mopar fans continues to this day.
Bobby ran his first “quarter mile” race at Omaha Cornhusker raceway in 1970. Some friends of his talked him into giving it a try because they knew he was a pretty good street racer and that he would do good. Bobby said later he ran a points meet. He didn't even know what a points meet was at that time but went there, raced, and won the race. One would guess that with great luck in the beginning of something, it would go down hill after that. Not for Bobby. He went on to set records, winning more races and trophies at tracks like Cornhusker, Thunder Valley , and Kearney .
Bobby said he went brain dead for seven years and got into stock car racing. After Cornhusker closed, there were not many tracks around and all he wanted to do was race. At that time, there were plenty of stock car tracks. He did well at it, but could not afford to run that kind of race; there were too many repairs. Stock car racing was pretty rough in those days, and you had to repair your car almost every race.
Back to the quarter mile, Bobby reemerged with a Charger R/T that was street able, but ran pretty good on the track.He ran so good, racers still to this day remember the $100 bounty that was put on Bobby at Scribner. But, it was time to get serious. In '85, Bobby went with a Chevy claiming that the valve body in the Mopars was not strong enough and he wanted to be a contender. Scribner had opened and it was time to get serious, and serious he got. He won the points at Scribner six years in a row; they had a bounty on him for two months, many more years he would either be second or third in the points, and even a track record or two. He said that his '73 Chevy Vega was real good to him. Until February of this year, Bobby still ran that very same Vega.
For 22-years, Bobby has run the same motor, same transmission, and same rear-end (changed gears once), and has won more races than most others who have spent a ton of money racing. According to Bobby, “Somebody is looking out for me”. He runs a 406 SBC and says he watch's his RPM's and just uses common sense.
When asked if he would have done anything different over the years, he stated “not really. I did what I could with what I had. I did not go into debt because of it. I took care of my family first and racing second. A guy can do it, if he pays attention.”
Reminiscing back to the ‘old' days, Bobby said he was a member of a car club and it was great times with great people. Fremont Drag Racing Association had many members from the area, and Bobby remembers them all and what a great time that was. As is stands today, Bobby is the only one left that still races.
Bobby says that God has blessed him with a fantastic sponsor and the 22-year old motor that he has run with is now getting replaced with something better. He says that he hopes to be even faster and that everything works out for this coming year. For the 2007 season, Bobby placed in the top ten of Division 5 points winners, and is third in the Jeg's Allstar points leaders.
He claims that God has blessed him with the years of success he has had,
With the greatest of admiration, project-cars.com salutes - Bobby Hansen!
Now THAT'S drag racing!
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