Tradition runs deep at Tulsa Shootout

Posted at 6:15 PM, Dec 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-28 19:26:28-05

TULSA -- Hundreds of sprint cars are lining up to compete in this year's Tulsa Shootout. 

For the 33rd anniversary, there are more than 500 racers. 

Many of this year's competitors have watched generations in their family compete for the coveted Golden Driller trophy. 

Blake Hahn's family has brought home several. His grandfather and father competed for years before him.

"Once it's in your blood, it's hard to leave it," Hahn said. "It's hard to leave it. After seeing so many cool stories about my grandpa, just strives to make me do better and make as big of an impact as he has." 

There are smaller cars for the younger racers. Some competitors start at the age of five. 

Hahn started when he was eight-years-old and has been bringing home trophies ever since. 

"There is no other sport like it," Hahn said. "You know, there is no other sport where there is just a man and a machine versus another man and a machine. It's all man versus man, so it kind of makes it unique in that way." 

The Tulsa Expo Center is buzzing with competitors putting last minute touches on their sprint cars. 

Some use the Tulsa Shootout as a practice run for the Chili Bowl, which brings big names like NASCAR's Kyle Larson, to Green Country. 

"The modern driver in today, like Kyle Larson, he would be compared to somebody like LeBron James," Bryan Hulbert, an announcer for the Tulsa Shootout, said. "You look at the legends of baseball, you call them Babe Ruth of sprint car racing." 

Whether they are preparing for a bigger race or putting it all on the line for a Golden Driller, like Hahn, the atmosphere in the Tulsa Expo Center is electric. 

"This is our life," Hahn said. "This is what we do. This is what we grind for every week. We fix our stuff during the week to go do this on the weekends, so to come out here and watch all these guys' hard work pay off, it's really cool." 

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