The cars of the Must See Racing Xtreme Spring Series lineup for action at Dells Raceway Pa
Jim Hanks remembers back in the 1950s when his dad would take him to Motor City Speedway near his Detroit home. "I loved to watch the Midgets and Supermodifieds and the show they put on for the fans.
"I raced karts as a kid, but as an adult my interest seemed to lie more in the promotion and management of the sport," he says. To that end, Hanks studied business and marketing at Michigan State University.
"When I think back about it, from about 1970-1990, I was a casual fan, going to only two or three Sprint Car races a year. In that time period, I was totally involved and committed to my family and general contracting business.
"All that changed in 1993 when my wife, Nancy, and I met Open Wheel driver Brian Tyler and his car owner, Howard Stone, in Florida during Speedweeks. Our three wonderful daughters had grown up, we had more time on our hands, and Nancy got hooked on racing after meeting Tyler and Stone down in Florida."
Must See Racing features methanol-fueled winged Pavement Sprint Cars with a maximum cubic
That meeting in Florida set Hanks on a different path that would take the Michigan native down the road to team ownership, then into the role of broadcaster, and eventually the formation of his own series. It has become a labor of love. It has become Must See Racing.
Hanks-the Team Owner
From 1998 until 2009, Hanks owned a wide variety of Open Wheel cars. "I had Silver Crown, Non-Winged Sprints, but the majority of our efforts were directed toward the Winged Pavement Sprints," says Hanks.
He admits his love for the Pavement Sprints is grounded in one simple belief. "They are the ultimate race cars from my point of view. Their flat-out speed and performance, thanks to downforce created by the wings, led to great competitive racing. It is why I selected them to compete and later for the series I would form."
While his love of the Pavement Sprinters is clearly evident, Hanks is extremely proud of the numerous track records and more than 10 wins he collected with driver Kevin Feeney over the decade of team ownership. However, a larger vision would come into focus during that time.
Must See Racing was founded by self-described Sprint Car fan, Jim Hanks, in 2008 and has r
The Power of Racing
"Racing with me started out as a hobby, turned into a competitive obsession and at the time I didn't think it would progress any further," explained Hanks. "Representing our race team, sponsors made me aware of what the sport needed and I tried to incorporate it into my racing effort."
It was through his work with those sponsors that Jim saw what he likes to call the "Power of Racing." He had associations with the Boy Scouts of America, United Way, and other charity oriented organizations where the groups could reap the benefits of a team association without the burden of a sponsorship. By helping promote those organizations through the racing exposure Hanks gained a firm handle on what racing could deliver from a marketing perspective. The fact that he hosted his own racing radio show from 1998 to 2003 was an added avenue to keep his finger on the pulse of racing.
According to Jim, short track racing just doesn't seem to generate the fan interest it used to, and by working with charitable groups he hopes to help grow the sport and spurn new interest in his high-powered Sprint shows.