Hannah Newhouse and David Gilliland Racing have reached an agreement that will see Newhouse race the team’s Super Late Model during the 2016 season. Newhouse will make a total of three starts for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based race team.
Newhouse, 19, said she will make her debut in the No. 98 Toyota Racing car during the PASS South race at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway on August 13. She will also be behind the wheel of the car for CARS Tour events at Myrtle Beach Speedway (SC) and Hickory Motor Speedway (NC).
“We have some connections and of course the racing world is all about connections,” Newhouse told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I happened to learn that there was an open seat at David Gilliland Racing because I saw the press release that Cole Timm was racing for them. I was like ‘that would be a super cool opportunity.’ So I actually got ahold of Bill McAnally.
“Next thing I know I was down in North Carolina and meeting the guys from David Gilliland Racing and I’m now getting the opportunity to race for them. It’s a huge stepping stone for me and my career.”
The Idaho native said she is working on a plan to move to North Carolina to continue to push her career to the next level.
“It’s super hard, we’ve come to the conclusion, to make a name for yourself racing out here on the west coast,” Newhouse said. “Typically, because your resources are so limited. As things progress further, my plan is to definitely move out there.”
Newhouse said she believes she can finish in the top 10, and maybe even do better than that in her three races with DGR.
“We’re looking for a strong finish. I’d say a strong finish would be a top 10 or a top five,” she said. “They’ve definitely proven their equipment is capable of winning, so I wouldn’t even say a win is off the table. I’d love to get a win for them. I just want to run strong, get good finishes and keep the car in one piece.”
Newhouse will split the ride for the time being with the defending CARS Tour champion, Cole Timm. Both drivers are filling the seat left vacant after the departure of Nicole Behar. While Newhouse said she does not feel it is fair for people to compare her performance to Behar’s, she said she expects those comparisons and those comparisons will add to the pressure level.
“Her and I have competed against each other at multiple levels,” said Newhouse. “Now that it’s the same car, same ride and same tracks, it’s going to be a huge step because this is the first time we’ve ever been in equal equipment. There definitely is pressure. As I’ve been told multiple times, I’m racing against all of the other competition, but I’m also racing against the other females. And it’s terrible that it comes down to that because I want to be viewed for my driving, not for my gender. But there really is pressure.”
Newhouse said she does not know what the future holds beyond these three races between her and David Gilliland Racing, but she said she hopes her performances will lead to more races for the two sides.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Hannah Newhouse Facebook photo