It was a successful visit to the United States for the Hansen family from Bluffton, as they took part in Race Week 2.0 from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6.
The seven-day drive-in drag race took place from Pueblo Motorsports Park in Pueblo, Colorado with drive locations including Kearney Raceway Park in Nebraska, Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Colorado and more.
Race Week 2.0 doesn’t usually take place in Colorado, but due to track problems, they had to move the location.
The race, put on by Rocky Mountain Race Week, saw around 300 competitors come out from all over, including the Yukon and Australia.
Cali Hansen is usually her husband Derek’s co-pilot, but this year their nine-year-old son Charlie took the reins, riding co-pilot with his dad, while Cali and their six-year-old daughter Samara rode with a friend.
The father and son team finished 13th overall in their class out of 39 other competitors.
“My son’s right into the racing thing too. We got him a junior dragster last year, and we’re going to get him another car,” said Cali.
The family also does Rocky Mountain Race Week and Miles of Mayhem in the summer, which are two other big races.
Derek ended up taking what Cali calls, ‘the slow car,’ a 1970 Plymouth Duster. He ended up blowing the engine in his race car about three days before the race.
“So we took Plan B car, the slow car,” she said with a laugh.
“This year was our first race for the fall,” she said, adding that it’s also the last year it will be run in Bandimere, as it’s closing.
“Bandimere is the world’s most beautiful track. Derek wanted a family picture on the track.”
One of the highlights of the week was a big birthday celebration for their daughter Samara, who turned six on Oct. 4.
The man they were staying with in Morrison, Colorado said they could have a party for her.
“He invited a whole wack of people. There were 45 people there,” said Cali. She even had the 1320 Video crew there, and they all sang ‘happy birthday’ to her.
“It was amazing. The guy that helped organize it, his neighbours went and bought her birthday present, so she had a few birthday presents to open.
“It seriously brought tears to my eyes. They don’t know us from a hole in the ground and they did that for a little girl.”
The race ended up being a family event for the Hansen’s, as Derek’s mom and dad also came out to follow around the race for a while.
“They took a holiday just to get away. It made it quite the family event.”