Bill Lockwood - wekickassest.com reporter and Photographer extraordinar - got a chance to interview Travis Hanson before the kick-off of the event. Via Blockwoods twitter feed;
Travis Hanson came into 100 Acre Wood as the unlikely overall leader - a privateer in an SP Class car. The SP cars are built to keep racing even, and on a budget - they weren't built to beat the whole damn field. We find out how Hanson did it, and if he can keep it up.
Blockwood: You're the only Travis in the sport now (Pastrana's quick entrance and exit at 100 Acre Wood nearly proved me wrong), and you've been on the comeup for a couple years, how do you keep having successes?
Travis Hanson: Hard, hard, hard work. No one has gifted me anything in my rally career. Everything we have achieved has been through a strong will, a lot of patience, and hard work. It s passion that really keeps me going.
Blockwood: You run in the SP class, what exactly does that mean?
Hanson: SP class is Super Production. These are stock cars that have been only slightly modified and had some safety stuff added. To me it means I have to push the car to its limits and try to keep it there. Momentum and smooth driving gets you to the top of the podium in these cars.
Blockwood: Obviously it must feel good to have won Sno*Drift outright, do you think you can do it again, or was your win in an SP car a combination of circumstances?
Hanson: The win at Sno*Drift was amazing, a dream come true. If there was one event I thought we could win in the SP car it was Sno*Drift. The great thing about driving on snow is that it equalizes the cars. It doesn t matter if you have a factory supported Subaru or some old jalopy you built in your dads garage, you have to be a good driver.
Blockwood: What, are three things that you feel you've done right in the sport - contributing to where you are now?
Hanson: Wow, tough question. The first thing that pops into my mind is that I spend a lot of my time working on my car. I know everything about it and how it all works. To me, that gives me a comfort when driving the car. The next thing is attending Team O Neil Rally School. It really helps to understand some vehicle dynamics when you are trying to win rallies. The third thing I have is good friends and family. Without the help and support of others, I would have never got as far as I have.
Blockwood: What's your plan for 100AW? Are you planning on snow, mud, or ice? Sometimes it's hard to plan on anything in Missouri.
Hanson: Of course I would love another snow rally, but I think we are going to have a mix of gravel and mud. We have to drive our own race and be smooth. At 100AW the roads are smooth and fast. The roads reward drivers that can commit to the fast corners, but if you get to the outside of the road there are trees and rocks and well a bunch of things that can ruin your weekend and your rally car. (Cue: Pastrana's triple roll on SS2)
Blockwood: One last word of advice to all the kids with gravel on their minds?