By: Kobe Lambeth
I am constantly looking at the lower tier series of NASCAR to predict future talent at the next level. Last year, I started following the career of a driver named Hannah Newhouse. Naturally, I understand that most NASCAR fans have not heard about her. Trust me, you will in the next few years. Look at her early accomplishments.
Newhouse said, “NASCAR is a tough sport to be in because it is a sport that relies more and more on financial support than it does raw talent. I first ran in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2012 when I was just 15. It was a great year with 7 wins and 12 Pole awards but due to political issues at the track we had the championship basically stolen from us. As I have risen in the ranks, like I previously stated, NASCAR is becoming more about who has the money and less about who has the talent. I adore the sport though and have created wonderful memories and friends while racing.”
Money is the key word this day in NASCAR. This reminds me of my interview with NASCAR driver, Ryan Ellis, about the struggles of a stock car driver. It is a shame that our most talented young prospects are not making it onto the track. By observing Newhouse’s accomplishments, it is obvious that she is on her way to the top three levels of stock car racing in the world. However, financial woes might be her downfall, which is an unfortunate circumstance. I understand that team owners need driver sponsorship to keep the car on the track, but I really wish there was another way to put our best drivers on the track. Although sponsorship might be an issue, Newhouse is keeping a positive mind.
“I would love to be full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West but we do not have the financial backing to do that. Instead, my goals are to just stay behind the wheel of anything I can get my hands on! I would love to try my hand at some dirt racing in something like a Focus Midget or and Open 600! But like I said, I will drive just about anything! My dreams as a young driver are to eventually make this a career. The chances are very slim, but under the right circumstances and with the help of some sponsors I think that I could make it happen. If that doesn’t work out, I have found a dream to work PR and marketing for a large scale NASCAR teams as well. As long as I somehow get to go to the racetrack every weekend I will be a happy person!”
Wow, what a great attitude to have known that her chances of making it to the highest levels of stock car racing are slim. I really wish there was a way to get Hannah Newhouse on the track in 2016. Again, why are our most talented drivers looking for work? It does not make any sense why this amazing race car driver is not racing full-time! Newhouse’s road to motorsports is an interesting story.
Newhouse said, “My dad was a motocross racer forever but frequently ended up in the hospital. When I came around, he decided that go-karts were a safer alternative to the motorcycles. I got in my first go-karts at 5 years old and the rest is history! I fell in love with the need for speed and the adrenaline. Most of all, I fell in love with the community that racing is. There is nothing greater than growing up at a race track with a bunch of friends that all share the same love and passion for racing that you do!”
A great story to how Hannah Newhouse became interested in racing. It must be nice to have friends who also share the same passion for motorsports. For me, unfortunately, I do not have any friends who are interested in race cars (imagine that). However, anyone who wants to chase down the dream of becoming a race car driver has a role model in their life. Without support from family or friends, then it might be impossible to achieve your dreams.
Newhouse said, “I feel like there are two people I could call my biggest inspiration. First, I would have to say my dad is one of them. He has done everything he possible can get me the opportunities that I have gotten. He stopped racing so that I could and has taken financial risks to help me chase my dreams. He supports me on and off the track at all times even if we sometimes get in little stuff about what the racecar is doing on the track. But that’s what you get when your dad was also a racecar driver. My second inspiration in Lyn St. James. She’s an inspiration because her path to helping female drivers didn’t stop when she stopped racing. Unlike Danica, who thinks her presence on the track is enough, she is helping female drivers achieve their goals through programs like Project Podium which assists female drivers financially and with off-track coaching. She is also a well-respected woman in the racing community.”
Fantastic to hear that Hannah’s dad was very involved in helping her racing career take off. It is always a good thing when you have a parent supporting you every step of the way. I have never heard of Lyn St. James, but she sounds look an amazing lady who is helping females strive for their wildest dreams. I encourage all (including myself) to research Lyn St. James and her contributions to the racing community. There is more to Hannah’s life than racing. She is a student at the University of Boise State.
“It is absolutely insane. I honestly can not tell you how I manage to be a full-time college student, full-time race car driver and have a part-time job. It keeps me extremely busy but I love every second of it because I am living a life that some people would kill to live. I am fortunate enough to have professors at Boise State and employers that understand my busy schedule and are great about working with me. It is all about time management and that is something that I have had to get really good at a young age!”
I cannot imagine living the kind of life that Hannah Newhouse lives. Kudos to her for being able to handle school, racing, and a job! Honestly, I do not know if I would be able to those three things. Newhouse had an interesting answer when I asked about her favorite race track.
“I am all about the short track, or the “big” tracks. I love the little bullring style race tracks like the quarter mile track Meridian Speedway that we run on. I feel that short tracks have the ability to separate good drivers from good cars because it requires more skill and technique. On the contrary, I also really like big tracks like Phoenix International Raceway or Pikes Peak. The feeling of going upward of 150mph is an insane rush and even better when you are racing just inches from other drivers and a concrete wall.”
I assumed that Newhouse was going to say dirt track racing or the common tracks like Daytona or Talladega. The NASCAR Home Tracks are some of the best tracks for our youngest drivers to gain their experience. I hope that Newhouse will accomplish her dream of racing on the “big” tracks. It appears that Hannah has her plan set to making it to the most competitive levels of stock car racing. Hopefully, all sponsorship woes will end and something amazing will happen soon. I would hate to see her dreams end before she has to the chance to prove that she belongs with the heavy hitters of NASCAR. As we end this interview, I want every race fan to know what Hannah Newhouse’s goals are after her driving career is finished.
“I want to be remembered as the bubbly, witty, and happy driver that everyone was excited to see at the racetrack. More importantly, I want to be a driver that is remembered as leaving a positive impact on the fans. I want to be a Fans Drivers. Lastly, I want to be remembered as someone who paved the way for others to make their way through the ranks. I would love to one day become a team owner for a team that supplies financial assistant and rides to those who genuinely have the talent to make it.”
*Thanks to Hannah Newsome for taking time for this interview. I wish you the best of luck as you pursue 2016 racing opportunities. You will inspire many young female drivers to strive for the best and to follow their wildest dreams.*