Auto Racing

Oxford's Art Jensen makes the most of his custom-built truck in Hawkeye Downs street drag events

Art Jensen of Oxford won the two wheel open class at the SPI Outlaw Street Drag event Thursday night at Hawkeye Downs wi
Art Jensen of Oxford won the two wheel open class at the SPI Outlaw Street Drag event Thursday night at Hawkeye Downs with his 1941 Chevy rat rod truck. (Justin Webster/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — You never know what you’re going to find at a swap meet. That’s most of the excitement.

Art Jensen of Oxford found the cab of a 1941 Chevy truck in turn 3 of Hawkeye Downs at a swap meet in 2015 and decided to build the rest of the body around it.

“I wanted a rat rod and I made it too nice so I painted it,” Jensen explained.

The color he went with is officially Cobalt Blue Fire Mist, a nod to his neighbors growing up who had a blue wrecker and have since died.

The 1992 Clear Creek Amana grad has been working on cars and competing in demo derbys “for years” but prefers the monthly street drag events.

“I made it to three last year and this is my second one this year,” Jensen said. “This is way better than demo-ing. I take this home in one piece.”

He’s also pretty fast, winning the two-wheel open class over a 1980s short-box driven by Chad Sherman on the 300-foot track where he got up to about 65 mph.

“It’ll do 116 in the quarter mile,” Jensen said. “That’s scary in a truck that you’ve built everything yourself. I’m out there banging gears in a five-speed truck.”

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Jensen’s favorite thing about his rat rod is that “there’s just a whole lot of me in this truck.”

He also loves the racing aspect of the event.

“There are a lot of people that are Facebook fast,” Jensen said, “but you never see them at a track.”

The SPI Outlaw Street Drags returns to Hawkeye Downs on Aug. 20.

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