Think back to when you were 16; you were chasing boys (or girls), hanging out with friends and your biggest worry was what you were going to wear to school the next day. For Hannah Newhouse, that isn't the case, instead of focusing on what others her age are doing, she is focused on one thing: racing.
At the young age of 5, Hannah got her first taste of speed after she got behind the wheel of a go-kart and her life changed forever. Hannah stayed in go-karts until she was 13 when she made the daring leap to full-sized trucks, and then everything started taking off. Due to age-restrictions, Hannah was unable to run the full series her first year, but when she returned the following season, she took the series by storm. After winning the coveted Rookie of the Year title and finishing fourth in points in her first full season running trucks, Hannah caught the eyes of professional racing team Thompson Motorsports and the next step in her budding career took off. Thompson Motorsports signed Hannah to run in her first Latemodel season last year.
In her first start in the Whelen All-America Series at Magic Valley Speedway, Hannah made history. At just 15 years old, she stole the race by becoming the youngest ever winner in the series as well as the youngest female winner in one of the closest victories at the track (read more here). With three wins in her first ten races with Thompson Motorsports, Hannah was taking the Latemodel world by storm and drawing eyes in wherever she went. (BrettThompsonRacing.com)
At 15, Hannah also made her debut in the K&N Pro Series West Series where she finished 6th, making her the youngest female to run in the series and also the highest finishing female in the series. That year, Hannah was one of 17 young racers to attend the NASCAR Drive for Diversity combine in Virginia, all competing for a handful of coveted spots on a professional racing team.
This season, Hannah isn't slowing down. Besides a load of schoolwork and a job, Hannah is also running a full traveling season in both the Latemodel and ASA Pro-Truck Series for Thompson Motorsports. For her, her schooling is just as important as her racing career and she is right on track to graduating a full year ahead of schedule.
Not everything has come easy for Hannah. When she first started racing, she was in it for the fun and excitement but as her dream of becoming a professional driver developed, she had to learn what the real world of racing was all about.
"Being young and naive I didn't see the politics behind racing and only saw the fun in it. Now that I'm older and more aware of my surroundings I have had an eye opener to the politics surrounding racing and the tracks/drivers," said Hannah.
"I don't want to be the best female driver out there, I want to be one of the best drivers in general," Hannah said. "I don't want to be compared to just the other girls, I want to be compared to everyone and defy the stereotype and double standard of girls in Motorsports."
As a female in a male dominated sport, she garnishes attention wherever she goes, but for Hannah, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. As her records and statistics show, Hannah is just as competitive as her male counterparts.
Behind her through her entire journey have been her family and friends. They have been instrumental in her success as a driver and they are "the reason I have been able to pursue my dream," she said. Along with her family and friends, her team and sponsors from Thompson Motorsports have given her the equipment she needs to race as hard and as competitively as she knows how to do.
Last but certainly not least, Hannah knows she wouldn't be where she is without her fans. "They always stand behind me on my good nights and bad nights, sending me encouragement and good words in every situation of my racing career," she exclaimed!
Hannah dreams of one day competing in the highest levels of NASCAR: the Camping World Trucks Series, the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series. Following in the steps of the great women before her, Hannah is well on her way to achieving her dreams. At just 16 years of age, she has already accomplished so much in her young and growing career.
Hannah Newhouse is not your average 16 year old. She is a daughter, a racer, a competitor and without a doubt, the next big thing. Keep up with Hannah by following her on Twitter and checking out her website.
Keep your eye on this girl, her records and her talents are out of this world.
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