I am excited to have the opportunity to speak with Ahnna Parkhurst. Driver of the number 23 Shane McDowell Racing (who recently acquired Team Dillon Racing) dirt late model. Spending time in both Super Late Models and Crate Late Models, this 16 year old lady looks to impress anywhere she goes. She started racing at the age of 13, in December of 2014 she signed a Development Driver contract with RCR! After 3 1/2 years she is fast tracking!
Ahnna got her start by attending NASCAR races and building friendships with people inside the Richard Childress Racing organization.
“One day Mr. Childress asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. So I told him, ” I’d love to be a race car driver. I’ve just fallen in love with the sport.” A few days later Mr. Childress asked my dad how he felt about me getting into some go karts. My dad was 100% on board with it.”
Ahnna raced a season and a half of mini outlaw go karts, then went on to compete in dirt late models. During her first full season of late models she was also given the opportunity to drive a Southeast Super Truck, an asphalt truck series. 2017 will be her second full season in dirt late models. She will compete in the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series. It consists of 16 races. She will also compete in 55-60 other races of her choice in the Crate & Super Late Models.
Ahnna has attempted 2 events in the Crate Late Model already in 2017. Luck has not been on her side and she has come across a few issues, but is undeterred. Also, she has competed in her Sportsman car twice in 2017 and has finished 3rd both times!
“I’m really looking forward to grabbing the first win of my Late Model career as well as hopefully being named NeSmith Rookie Of The Year! The biggest challenge will be competing with a number of talented drivers at numerous tracks while on the touring series. My first time in a Super Late Model will also be a challenge!”
When not at the track, Ahnna enjoys deer hunting and working on the race cars, but still balances it out with shopping and getting her nails done. As an outside observer it seems she finds balance in everything. With all the time spent at the track she also likes to spend time with friends and family.
Family is very important to her, her lead sponsors are T-Gen and Lauriesfund.org, please make sure to visit http://www.lauriesfund.org and read the story that has touched her and her whole family.
With all challenges in life and racing, there are lessons to be learned. When asked about her most important lesson on track she replied very quickly.
“Just being smooth behind the wheel. Everything from throttle control to steering. Driving a smooth race helps with a number of things, from successful finishes to saving tires.”
Given how fast she has moved in her racing career, it won’t be long before she starts mixing it up in the upper levels of NASCAR. Could she beat Austin and Ty Dillon on dirt today?
“I don’t think so, yet. Maybe someday, I hope! They have taught me everything I know and hopefully one day I can apply it to racing against them.”
With her drive and determination, I think that “someday” she mentions, may be closer than anybody thinks.
Ahnna would like to thank: TGen & Lauriesfund.org, Richard Childress Racing, Austin, Ty & Mike Dillon, John Morley Companies, F&W Transportation, UNOH, Kevin Harvick Managment, Bad Boy Off Road, K&N Filters, FK rod ends, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Aria, Sparco, GW Performance, Keyser Manufacturing, Allstar Performance
Follow Ahnna on Twitter: @ahnnaparkhurst or on FaceBook: Ahnna Parkhurst Racing