July 2, 1992 in Hollywood, Florida, Sean Thomas Henson may not have
been born into a famous drag racing family but that would all change
before long. As a child Sean grew up watching his dad roadrace. At
the age of four Sean received his first dirt bike as a gift for good
grades in pre-school.
In 2001 Seanís dad, Barry Henson, started drag racing at an AMA/Prostar
event in Indy at IRP. Barry competed in the glory days of Pro Street
when it was called by its original name, Streetbike Shootout.
Without branching off
into a whole story about Seanís dad, Iíll sum up that chapter by
saying Barry is one of the rare great talents that burst onto the
drag racing scene as if he had been doing this all his life. In his
brief four-year career as a rider in drag racing, Barry
managed to capture two national Pro Street championships with AMA/Prostar
(2004-2005) along with a score of national records in addition to
scoring numerous championships as a team owner in subsequent years.
Sean started racing
earlier than most kids had the opportunity to race. About the time
Sean turned 12, I was in fierce negotiations with NHRA to develop a
Jr. Dragbike program. After flying out to California to pitch the
idea along with American Suzukiís Morgan Broadhead, we lost our bid
due to concerns of conflicting with their Jr. Dragster program.
Instead NHRA did allow me (or did they?) to use a legal loophole
which would allow me to let kids 12 and older compete on 250cc bikes
in Street ET. Sean was the first young person to take advantage of
the loophole and compete. You could instantly tell he was a chip off
the old block.
As Sean entered his
teenage years he spent everyday at his Dadís shop, Velocity Racing.
He worked the phones selling parts and worked on customersí bikes.
When Sean turned sixteen he started racing in SuperStreet and in
2009 stepped up to his fatherís old position of Pro Street. He rode
in the class until the demise of AMA Dragbike. Soon after Barry sold
his business to Jason King, owner of RPM Cycle Performance in
Conway, Arkansas. Since the sale of the business Sean has been
working at his dadís truck driving school and attending college
where he is majoring in business.
This year Sean will
return to his roots as one of a two-member team for Velocity Racing
riding a pair of Hayabusas. He and Billy Don Kenny will be racing
Pro Street in the MIROCK and Manufacturerís Cup events. Barry Henson
will serve as crew chief for Jason Kingís RPM Cycle Performance /
Velocity Racing team.
I will close with my
favorite photo (below). When you look at the blue Velocity bike, the
name Barry on the leathers and the intensity in the eyes, you would
obviously assume this is a photo of Barry Henson. Itís not, itís
Sean and the similarities of the concentration are evident. As for
this season, Sean riding for Jason with Seanís dad as crewchief,
look for a team reminiscent of the dominant 2004-2005 team.
Other Areas of
Residence: Knoxville, TN
Home track: Bristol
Team Name: 2001-2010 Velocity Racing. 2012 RPM Cycle
Performance / Velocity Racing team
Crew Members: Barry Henson
History of racing bikes and classes:
2003 Ė 2007 Street ET
2008 Super Street turbo charged Hayabusa
2009-2010 Pro Street turbocharged Hayabusa
Goals: Finish College and go to law school
Interest outside of racing: Wakeboarding
Favorite foods: AnyÖ..
Favorite movie: Gone in sixty seconds
Daily driver: 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse
First motorcycle: Ninja 250
Hero: My father