Couple shares their love of racing with fire departments

(Above) Team Hanson Racing -- Mathew and Lezah Hanson with Eddy

by Marianne Gasaway

The names of firefighters from seven area departments are featured on the red flag stripes of the Hanson Racing car this season.-Submitted photo.

It’s safe to say much of Mathew and Lezah Hanson’s life revolves around the race track.  After all, their first date was at a race track, and Mathew even proposed at the track by placing a special wrap on his vehicle reading “Will You Marry Me?”

Now, they’re sharing their love of the sport with others.

Mathew said he grew up going to the races and, according to Lezah, talked about getting his own race car “constantly.”  With his wife’s encouragement, in August 2013 Mathew got his own vehicle and gave dirt track racing a try for a month.  He upgraded his car and now the couple spends every weekend, April to September, at the oval.

Part of Lezah’s involvement with the Hanson Racing team has been the design of a wrap for her husband’s race car.  The design incorporates Hanson’s sponsors, as well as the Christian Fish symbol and Philippines 4:13 creatively displayed on the teams’ signature green and black colors. But this year, Lezah changed things up.

The race car wrap reveal is usually made during a get-together for team sponsors.  This year Mathew was also kept in the dark about the design, which Lezah conceptualized and Kelley Printing, of Preston, Minn., created.

She explained that Mathew grew up in Klemme and is a member of the Klemme Volunteer Fire Department.  With this being his fifth year on the department, as well as his fifth year racing, she decided a tribute to firefighters would be the inspiration for her car wrap this year.  This years’ car displays the names of local firefighters from seven departments, including Clear Lake, Ventura,  Garner, Forest City, Britt and Goodell, listed on the red line of its flag design.

“As a firefighter who has worked alongside most of the men and women listed on the car, Mathew was shocked to not see any green on the car, but is thankful to show his own support to all of those who serve on local fire departments,” she said.

There are plenty of opportunities for firefighters and others to see the specialized car.  Hanson Racing is at the Hancock County Speedway in Britt, Iowa each Friday, Independence, Iowa on Saturdays, and Fort Dodge on Sundays from April through September.  Hanson Racing is set to begin their season April 20 in Britt.   

The Hansons, along with their dog, Eddy, who is also a regular on the racing circuit, also plan to participate in area parades.

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