Nineteen-year old Hannah Newhouse has always been passionate about racing after driving a go-kart for the first time aged five. Since then, Hannah has gone onto competing in multiple championships across America, claiming a number of victories on her way to becoming a member of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program. Away from racing, Newhouse is set to be a junior at Boise State University in her home state of Idaho where she has combined her studies with racing. The support given from Boise State University has been crucial over the last two years in helping Hannah to achieve her dream of becoming an elite driver within NASCAR.
Liam: Can you give me some background into the series you’re racing in this year and the main differences between the machines you’re driving?
Hannah: I run in two separate local Super Late Model classes at Meridian Speedway in Meridian, Idaho and one at Rocky Mountain Raceways in West Valley City, Utah. The Super Late models have stock car bodies, weigh roughly 2900lbs and have between 500-600hp. I’ll be running a combined total of 11 Super Late Model races this year. I also will be competing in the Pro Truck Series which is a regional touring truck series that tours in the Western United States. We have 12 scheduled races at 5 different tracks. The Pro Trucks run stock crate motors that pull around 350hp and weight around 3200lbs.
Liam: What’s been your biggest achievement in your racing career so far?
Hannah: This might sound funny, but one of my biggest achievements has been the friendships and relationships that I have formed throughout my career. I have made lifelong friends and partnerships with many people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise and I basically have a second family because of the sport. But if we are talking trophy achievements, my first year in stock cars has to be my most successful year. I was racing a limited latemodel in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series and we won the first race of the season which made me the youngest female to win in the Whelen All American Series. We followed that race up with 7 wins and 12 fast time awards and finished 3rd in the points. That same season I made my NASCAR K&N Pro Series West Debut and finished 6th which tied the record for the highest finish for a female in the series. That year I was also accepted to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program. Needless to say I was one busy freshman in High School!
Liam: What are your favourite activities to do outside of racing?
Hannah: When I am not racing you can always find me outside doing something, I love hiking, being in and around the water and spending time outdoors. We have horses (and dirt bikes), so if I am not already out on the lake wakeboarding or surfing you can probably find me on a horse or a dirt bike somewhere. Although, I am a full-time college student with a part time job on top of being a racecar driver so I have very minimal time outside of those activities to do the other things that I enjoy!
Liam: How important has the support from Boise State University been in helping you race over the past two seasons?
Hannah: Boise State University has been a huge partnership for me because they have created to opportunity for me to go to school while pursuing a racing career still. Before Boise State, attending college and racing wasn’t an option for me. It has been a great way for me to be a large part of my university and represent such a great college on and off the track. We are really excited to have them on board again for the 2016 race season and as I attend Boise State this fall as a junior.
Liam: How rewarding has it been to be part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine over the last few years, and what are the main things you’ve learnt?
Hannah: The NASCAR Drive for Diversity is a great program that helps integrate females and minorities into NASCAR and I have been honoured to have been selected 4 consecutive years in a row. I have created a ton of great friendships from other drivers that I have met at the combine and also learned skills like adaptability and media skills to help me further my own career.
Liam: If you could choose a driver, past or present, to be with teammates with, who would you choose, and why?
Hannah: That is a really tough one because there are a ton of people I would LOVE to be team mates with. If I lean towards the female side of all of it, I would love to be team mates with Lyn St. James or Susie Wolff. Both are very influential and successful drivers in the world of motorsports both on and off the track. Although females weren’t allowed to race in this time period, my other team mate would be Cole Trickle. A lot of people recognize my number (46) as Trickle’s number and he raced in an era where it wasn’t about who had the most money, but it was about who had the most guts and will to win and I think that would be a huge learning experience for me.
Liam: What advice would you give any young female driver looking to make it in the world of motorsport?
Hannah: I would give the same advice that I was once told “Some drivers are never going to get over the pony tail sticking out of your helmet.” This basically translates to there are some competitors who will never get over the act that you are a female driver and that could be beneficial to harmful throughout your career. But in the end, you need to embrace the fact that you are different because there is some little girl or little boy out there who is looking up to you as a way to pave the road for them and you want to do it to the best of your ability. So fight like a girl and prove that you are exactly where you belong.
Liam: Have you set yourself any targets for the season, or any future goals you’d like to achieve over the next three years?
Hannah: For this season, we are focused on winning championships and bringing home trophies. I know that our team is fully capable of being in championship contention and winning races so we feel like that is a realistic goal for this season. As for future goals, I would love to move up to the K&N Pro Series full time or get an opportunity to run in the Camping World Truck Series in the next few years. Anymore funding is such a hard thing to come by for someone who doesn’t come from a family with a lot of money. If that doesn’t work out, I am half way done with my Communication Degree from Boise State University and I would love to work with a network such as Fox Sports 1 or Motorsports Racing Network and be a reporter/broadcaster for NASCAR or other forms of motorsports.
Hannah would like to thank Boise State University who have been a huge part of her racing success. Newhouse would also like to thank some of the sponsors that have been there since the beginning such as The Car Store, Kidd’s Performance & Dyno, Mikey’s Graphics, Wrap Star Pro, and Burke’s Tractor.
You can keep up to date with Hannah’s progress using the social media links below:
Website – www.hannahnewhouse.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/hannahnewhouseracing
Twitter – www.twitter.come/hnewhouseracing