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The ‘car racing REALTOR®’ started driving at age 7

posted Aug 8, 2014, 1:17 PM by Joyce Evans
You might know Rick Hagen for serving as PSAR’s East County representative on the Sandicor board of directors in 2013 (Sandicor is San Diego County’s regional multiple listing service that is owned by three REALTOR® Associations, including PSAR, North San Diego County Association of REALTORS® and the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS®). He also served on the board of the East San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (2010-2012), and helped guide the 2012 merger with PSAR.
 
He is a former winner of the East County REALTOR® of the Year award (2009). In 2009, he was also named broker of record for the company now known as Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. Today, he oversees Pacific Sotheby International Realty’s 20 offices in San Diego County with more than 450 active agents. “I have an enormous job that is possible only because we have an outstanding management team. They are all professionals who embrace the company’s goals and take responsibility for their offices,” said Rick.
 
But did you know Rick is an aspiring barbecue pitmaster? One of his favorite TV programs is “BBQ Pitmasters,” airing on the Destination America network (Cox 103). In fact, he has traveled throughout California to attend classes taught by professional pitmasters such as Harry Soo, BBQ champion and founder of Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ, a brand of meat rubs, marinades and seasoning mixes. He also learned from Johnny Trigg, winner of more than 60 Grand Champion awards, including the Kingsford Invitational and the Jack Daniel's World Championship Invitational.
 
“Pitmasters are part chef, part athlete, and part five-star general with grease on their hands and sweat on their brows,” said Rick. “I admire them because they’re no-nonsense regular folks who are committed to a perfectly glazed rib or a mouth-watering bite of brisket. It’s a fun diversion for me.”
 
Another passion for Rick is auto racing. He grew up in Bonita and started driving cars at age 7 on his family’s 300-acre cattle ranch in El Cajon’s Dehesa Valley. The family no longer owns the property (it was sold to the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation after Rick’s father passed away).
 
At age 10, Rick learned how to brand cattle. At age 12, he started working at the family’s gas station in downtown San Diego at the corner of 16th Avenue and “G” Street and fondly remembers helping his dad restore a 1936 Packard. At age 16, he held a summer job milking cows at the Rollins Dairy in Sunnyside, an area of Bonita. He attended Bonita Vista High School (class of 1979) and was the marching band’s drum major. As a high school senior, he started racing Fiats and Scirocco sports cars at San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley.
 
Rick attended Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif., and earned a degree in political science and economics. In his freshman year, he opened a convenience store on campus called The Pit Stop. Revenues from the sale of snacks, sodas and video games covered his living expenses and part of his tuition. After graduation, he sold the store to the college at a profit. “I enjoy capitalism and believe you should be rewarded if you put in the effort,” he said.
 
Starting in the late 1970s, Rick raced in several southwestern states on the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) circuit. He later drove NASCAR-sanctioned races at Cajon Speedway, a 3/8ths-mile track that operated in El Cajon for 44 years, from 1961 to 2004
 
After college, Rick spent 10 years in the banking industry before he started selling real estate in 1994 when he became known at Cajon Speedway as “Rick the Racing Realtor.” Rick was the track’s 2003 Bomber Stock class champion and the 2004 champion in the Street Stock class. He set the track record for fastest lap time. Unfortunately, he stopped racing when Cajon Speedway closed in 2005.
 
“I don’t miss spending the money it takes to maintain race cars, but I do miss the family atmosphere and the excitement of the event,” said Rick. “I’m still a huge racing fan and hardly ever miss watching NASCAR on TV. In my sleep, I still have dreams about races I lost that I should have won.”
 
Rick and wife Monica, who have lived in El Cajon’s Rancho San Diego community since 2001, have been married for 29 years. They have a daughter, Melissa, who graduated from River Valley Charter School in Lakeside and plans to attend college this fall.
 
“PSAR is great because our association focuses on providing personalized services, our people make the difference” Rick said. “Customer service is very important to me. Our company’s agents count on me to deliver the services they need. It’s my job to keep them informed of legal updates and keep their transactions moving forward so they can focus on what they do best.”
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