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Mel Hansen (July 11, 1911 – June 25, 1963) was an American racecar driver. Hansen was nicknamed the "Firecracker Kid" because he loved to throw the explosive devices under chairs and behind people who were gathered in groups.[1] He originated in Hayti, South Dakota.

Racing careerEdit

Midget car careerEdit

Hansen's first big win was the 1939 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Gilmore Stadium in Rex Mays Offenhauser. Hansen raced his midget car throughout the nation in 1940, and won 53 features that season.[1] He also claimed the track championship at Fort Miami Speedway in Toledo, Ohio that season. He won the 1942 track championship at VFW Motor Speedway in Detroit. Hansen raced in the United Racing Association in California, and won the 1945 URA Blue Circuit championship.

Championship car careerEdit

Hansen competed in six Indianapolis 500s. He only completed one entire race, which was an eighth-place finish in the 1940 Indianapolis 500. He won the 100-mile (160 km) race at Atlanta, Georgia in 1948.


Hansen was paralyzed after a racing crash in 1949 at Detroit, and he died on June 5, 1963 in San Bernardino, California after being a paraplegic for fifteen years.[1]

Career awardEdit

Indy 500 resultsEdit