PORT ROYAL, Pa. — When you live in Central Pa, you know how special it is to have so many tracks within a two-hour radius.
It’s a goal of some drivers to take a swing against the Pennsylvania Posse. Earlier this season, one driver has all the pieces fall into place to race in the Keystone State.
A trip to Pennsylvania has always been in the back of McKenna Haase’s mind, but she never had all the cards align, until this season, when someone was inspired by her story.
“We were racing the Kings Royal at Eldora and I didn’t really have a lot of crew help so, one of the guys that noticed, that was a guy named Justin; who lives out here in Pennsylvania. He reached out and said, my story was inspiring to him and he wanted to offer to help sponsor us and host us here," said MeKenna Haase, driver No. 55 410 sprint car.
Her inspirational story has many chapters. She became a driver after meeting Kasey Kahne. Her hard work on the track, working her way through the different classes before finally reaching it to the 410s. In 2015, Haase not only became the first female to win at Knoxville in 114 years but she’s given opportunities to others. Haase kick started her own LLC, the Compass Racing Development, when she was just a teenager. She builds the racecars, finds drivers who may not have the opportunity to race and has mentored her drivers to dozens of feature wins.
But, her trip to Central Pa has been a bucket list item and wasn't the only one excited to be in Keystone State. Local fans showing their support; lining up to meet and greet with the sprint car driver.
“Coming to Pennsylvania, in general, is kind of a culture shock just because I’m from Iowa and it’s really flat. So, it was just really cool to finally be in Pennsylvania. Kind of a dream come true, really. A little bit emotional just because any sprint car driver would love to come race here," said Haase.
It was a quick change of the schedule. She added a stop at the 55th Tuscarora 50. Not just racing against the Posse but also the All-Stars and some invaders around the Speed Palace.
“The track is really neat, it’s just challenging. I’m kind of doing my own setup work and so it’s hard to figure that part of it out. It’s fun to learn but just stinks when it affects your results right out of the gate," said Haase.
It’s a learning curve racing at any track for the very first time but the surprises for fans wasn't done just yet. She was able to stick around and race at Williams Grove that following Friday.
Haase said she hopes to make another trip to Central Pa in the near future.
More about the Compass Racing Development can be found here.
BAPS 410 finale
BAPS hosted their final 410 race on Saturday. Brent Marks trying to put a bow on the season. He set a new track record of 14.376 seconds and has a pretty much of a perfect night winning his heat then won the feature from starting 4th.