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Longtime NASCAR Industry Executive Relaunches Management Firm

Don Hawk has signed 19-year-old Briggs Danner as first client

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When Don Hawk left Speedway Motorsports Inc. in December after spending 30 years in some of the most visible executive positions in NASCAR, he told the world he wanted to reopen his sports management business and spend more time with family.

A little more than a week into the new year, Hawk Sports Management today announced its first client with the signing of 19-year-old, dirt sprint car driver Briggs Danner of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

The third-generation driver who began racing at the age of five also happens to be Hawk’s great-nephew. But this isn’t about nepotism. Danner is a rising star in the racing world.

In 2021 he won the SpeedSTR championship at the Kutztown Action Track and picked up nine wins on the USAC East Coast Sprint Circuit. He also logged his first TQ feature win in November at Wall Stadium in New Jersey.

That success led the Eastern Motorsport Press Association to name Danner as the John Blewett III Young Gun Award winner.

“Representing Briggs is a no brainer for me,” laughed Hawk who said he sought the advice of racers Christopher Bell and Tony Stewart just to make sure the decision to sign Danner isn’t based on emotion. “He’s extremely talented, he’s a proven winner and he’s family. I want to help him as far as his right foot will take him.”

Danner knows to climb the ladder in American motorsports a driver must be good behind the wheel as well as off the track dealing with corporate sponsors, fans and media.

“I’m looking forward to working with Hawk Sports and Uncle Don starting 2022,” said Danner who added that Hawk will handle all sponsorship endorsement, appearances and contracts.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of racing this year and I’m excited to see what we will be able to accomplish, as hopefully we are able to try and venture out on some more pavement tracks too.”

Danner has a busy schedule in 2022 with at least 90 races planned. The season starts in Matt Janisch’s TQ midget at indoor arena races in his hometown of Allentown, Pa on Friday and Saturday before making his debut at the Chili Bowl Nationals in Mike Heffner’s midget next week.

The Danner announcement is life coming full circle for Hawk.

Briggs’ father Roy Danner Jr. was a quarter midget and legends driver before quitting to support his son’s racing career. Briggs’ late grandfather Roy Danner, Sr., was Hawk’s brother-in-law and took a young Hawk to races at the half-mile Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway dirt oval.

That exposure led Hawk to focus on a career in motorsports that began in 1992 as manager of Alan Kulwicki Racing before serving as president of Dale Earnhardt Inc from 1993 to 2000.

From 2000 to 2006 Hawk founded and serviced as president of Hawk Sports Management, working as a NASCAR consultant and NASCAR’s director of regional racing development before joining SMI in 2007. SMI named Hawk its vice president of business affairs in 2012 and he was promoted to the role of chief racing development officer in 2018.

Hawk received the O. Bruton Smith Award, SMI’s highest individual honor in 2012.

Contact Hawk Sports Management at dhawk@hawksportsmgt.com

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