ROSEVILLE, Calif — Audio and story by Race Chaser Online Mid-Atlantic Correspondent Marshall Gabell — Getty Images foe NASCAR photo —
Hannah Newhouse does not intend to be compared to the common college student.
Newhouse, the 19-year-old, Twin Falls, Ida. native, balances a full-time racing schedule in addition to taking college courses at Boise State University.
For her, however, the relationship with her school extends past campus — it goes with her on the racetrack, whether she is driving in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West, the Pro Truck Series or the Rocky Mountain Challenge Series.
Her unique story starts when she was enrolling for her courses at Boise State.
Newhouse was explaining to the university about her motorsports career and how she would miss multiple classes due to the heavy demands of a racing schedule. Her conversation soon after took a drastic turn.
She pitched a sponsorship hint to the university, asking them if they would be interested in sponsoring her racing program. Next thing she knew, Boise State colors were being put on her race cars.
“When I was talking to (the school), I started asking them about sponsorship,” Newhouse explaiend to Race Chaser Online. “And next thing I knew I signed with Boise State University. This will actually be our second full season with Boise State (colors on board). It is a really cool dynamic we have with the school. I am able to pursue an (education) while still being able to race.”
Her racing partnership with Boise State has not just opened up doors for her, but has also aligned other drivers and universities.
In 2015, reigning NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion William Byron teamed with Liberty University and K&N Pro Series West hotshoe Gracin Raz paired with Montana Tech University — both of those deals coming after Newhouse’s opportunity with Boise State.
“Boise State took a big leap of faith with me the past two years,” Newhouse explained. “This is something that was not common — and now you are seeing it a lot more. We were among the first (to get the trend started) and now (other colleges are joining in).”
With two years down at Boise State, Newhouse is taking communications and public relations classes. In her freshman year, she took marketing classes, but soon realized where her true passion lay — in public speaking and media relations.
“I absolutely love it,” Newhouse said about her classes at Boise State. “I am in public speaking classes, communication and media relations. So it is a huge advantage (on and off the track). I feel like being in these classes and racing, they (almost kinda) feed off of each other. I am really excited for the next two years, this can only help me farther.”
Again in 2016, Boise State and Newhouse have partnered on the racing side, starting with the Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Irwindale Speedway this Saturday — the season-opening race on the K&N Pro Series West schedule.
But while her Boise colors will be the same, her team will not.
Newhouse has joined Jefferson-Pitts Racing for a one-race deal in the K&N Pro Series — and a quite sporadic opportunity it was.
“I was initially going to Irwindale to just watch,” Newhouse explained. “It was a really last minute deal. I had talked to the team (Jefferson-Pitts) about putting a deal like this together, so we reached out — out of curiosity — to see if anyone was in the car. Next thing I knew, I was getting a call from Jefferson-Pitts asking if I wanted to (go racing).
“It came together in a total of two days, a week before the race. I am really excited, and I hope I can prove myself this weekend.”
Previously, Newhouse has competed in five K&N Pro Series West races, finishing a best of sixth at Sandia Speedway during the 2012 season. This will be her first opportunity with Jefferson-Pitts, however, and she is hoping to take advantage — with a successful showing potentially putting her back in their No. 55 Ford later this season.
“This could definitely (progress) into future opportunities (in the K&N Pro Series),” Newhouse expressed. “Like a lot of drivers, we are struggling with a lack of funding. If we run well, this could open some opportunities for us.”
“We know that Jefferson-Pitts does have some other drivers scheduled (in the No. 55) for some of their other races, but there are other races we are interested in running with them. It is just a matter of funding. Hopefully we can go out, have a really good run for team and possibly run again for Jefferson-Pitts.”
The Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Irwindale Speedway goes green at 8 p.m. PT Saturday night.
Listen in to Race Chaser Online’s full conversation with Hannah Newhouse by clicking on the player below:
About the Writer
Marshall Gabell is the Mid-Atlantic Correspondent for Race Chaser Online, and was also formerly the public relations director for NASCAR Next member Austin Hill. Gabell is currently attending Stephen Decatur High School in Ocean City, Md., completing his sophomore year. He is just 15 years old.
Email Marshall at: [email protected]
Follow on Twitter: @MarshallGabell
Email Race Chaser Online: [email protected]
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