AUDIO/FEATURE: Newhouse Representing and Looking to Impress in Rookie K&N West Campaign

Marshall Gabell Audio, Featured, Touring Series, West 0 Comments

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – Audio and story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell – Getty Images for NASCAR photo –

Following an impressive tenure in the late model ranks, Hannah Newhouse will begin her career in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West this weekend in the series’ season opener at Kern County Raceway Park.

Newhouse will chase the championship with Thompson Motorsports, a team she drove for multiple times in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, this season.

With a thriving relationship together, Newhouse is no stranger to team owner Richard Thompson’s program and criteria, a pivotal decision in her choice to sign with them for the entire K&N Pro Series West season.

“We formed a great relationship with (Thompson Motorsports a few seasons ago),” Newhouse explained. “So at the end of last season, Thompson called me and asked me (if I wanted to) get behind the wheel of a K&N car. We have had a long lasting relationship with Thompson and this season we basically have said that we are going for it all.”

Despite competing in the K&N Pro Series West finale at Phoenix, the Twin Falls, Idaho native Newhouse did miss much of last season after a crash in the SRL Spears Southwest Tour Series opener.

Even though she lost valuable seat time, Newhouse is still comfortable in the cockpit and is prepared to return to the racetrack this weekend.

“I ended up getting taken out a little bit early last season,” Newhouse expressed. “I got in an accident in March and (doctors) ended up casting me since I broke my arm and tore ligaments. So I ended up being out the entire season.”

Now embarking on a new deal, Newhouse does expect some changes between the K&N Pro Series machines and her background in Super Late Model racing – an adjustment that is a part of her learning curve this season.

“Racing is racing and a lot does correlate between different cars,” Newhouse said. “But (Super Late Models and K&N cars) are completely different. Super Late Models and K&N cars are different style cars and the horsepower to weight ratio is totally different.”

“I always compare K&N cars to boats. They are sorta (heavy), I mean they have the horsepower, but they also have so much weight. Super Late Models have all this horsepower and little weight. But there will be things that correlate (between the two).”

With the differences between cars, Newhouse will have a large learning curve to deal with in her first full-time season in the K&N Pro Series West.

But with mentoring and assistance from veteran driver and her teammate Brett Thompson, her learning curve could well be expedited as she works through her rookie campaign.

“Brett (Thompson) has pretty much ran at every track we are going to this season,” Newhouse said. “It really works out good because Brett and I have a teammate relationship but also a friend relationship. He (really) has no problem putting me in my place (laughter).  But he is great with constructive criticism and finding his way around these tracks.”

Goals and expectations are among the thoughts in Newhouse’s mind entering the season, but she is simply hoping for a solid rookie campaign with successful results each time out.

“I feel like the championship is a stretch, but it could also be in reach,” Newhouse expressed. “Our goals are basically good finishes and I think we do have the capability of grabbing a win. But with a lot of heavy hitters moving on, that does give us rookies a better shot at grabbing wins and the championship.”

The K&N West opportunity also brings with it a unique sponsorship deal for Newhouse this season.

Despite her racing career being at the forefront, Newhouse was accepted to Boise State University last season to start planning for the future.

However, the opportunities that have followed after her acceptance have shocked even the rising star.

After explaining that she would miss some classes due to her hectic race schedule, Newhouse joked about Boise State sponsoring her race car – a joke that turned into a real negotiation.

“I actually got accepted to Boise State (last year) and in their policy I read that it said if you missed three days then you could be failed or kicked from the program,” Newhouse explained. “I knew that I could miss three days in just one race weekend.”

“So, I called them and told them (I race), but then I joked about sponsoring me – which they took seriously. I ended up meeting with them and worked out the details and now (they are a sponsor on our car this season).”

With her college on the side of the car this weekend, Newhouse is hoping to come out swinging in her rookie season as she takes to the racetrack for the first time this year in the NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Kern County this weekend.

 

Listen in to an extended cut of Race Chaser Online’s recent interview with Hannah Newhouse by clicking on the player below:

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