Hannah Newhouse | Motorsport Reporter

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Behind Sport
Apr 27, 2021

Welcome back to Industry Insider! We’re delighted to be speaking to Hannah Newhouse, a Motorsports Reporter and woman of many roles throughout the season.

 

Tell us about yourself, what is your current role and what roles have you done previously?

Hello I’m Hannah Newhouse. I like to think I am a jack of all trades in the industry and I have many different jobs throughout the season (Thank you freelancer life). At the current moment I just broad-spectrum title myself as a ‘Motorsports Reporter’ because of all the random stuff I am working.

During the 2021 year I will be covering the NASCAR races as a pit reporter for the live radio network as well as hosting a weekly digital show for them which covers short track racing across the world. I am also a pit reporter for the World of Outlaws Latemodels for DIRTVision (my first-time covering dirt and I am very excited), the analyst in the booth for the CARS Tour Late model series, and I occasionally cover different forms of motorsports e-sports as a host or play-by-play role.

Then during the weekdays when I am not traveling, I actually work as a detail and touch-up paint specialist where I service a few Lexus, Mercedes, and Toyota dealerships in the Charlotte, NC area. I have previously worked in everything from shooting, editing, producing pieces,marketing, public relations, you name it. But I eventually just really felt the need to hone in on one specific deal and I loved being in the center of the action as a reporter.

What do you do in your current role?

For my live radio/tv work as a pit reporter I am usually on pit road covering the teams live pit stops, strategies, and communicating with the teams on their drivers. We also conduct pre & post-race interviews with the drivers.

For my weekly show {NASCAR Coast to Coast} my co-host Kyle Rickey and I host drivers that compete in NASCARs touring series from all over the world (NASCAR Euro,NASCAR Mexico, NASCAR Pintys (CAN), and then all of the local/regional racers here in the US). We recap racing, preview up & coming events, and highlight stories of drivers from all over.

 

What does a normal week look like for you?

Right now, my Mon-Wednesday I am usually painting cars in the earlier part of the days at the dealerships and then Tuesday I record NASCAR Coast to Coast in the later part of the day.

Most race weeks I will fly out either Thursday afternoon or Friday morning – Some race weeks I will be covering a race Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and then fly home on either Sunday night or Monday morning. And of course, I try and fit hitting the gym or attempting to catch up with friends in any free time that I get. It’s definitely busy in the summer months but it allows me to relax and enjoy the off-season more!

 

How did you end up where you are right now? When did you know you wanted to work in sport?

Like so many others in the industry, I wanted to be a race car driver. I grew up in a family of racers of both stock cars and motocross so it was only fitting I started racing go-karts at age 5. I tried to make my way up the racing ladder through Pro Trucks, Late models,Super Late Models, and eventually the NASCAR K&N Pro Series where my racing career kind of topped out.

I always knew though I wanted to stay in the motorsports industry so I initially went to college for Marketing with hopes of helping teams with branding and sponsorship – I accidentally found myself in a job with a media company where I was doing press release write ups, visiting races where I would shoot, interview, and edit pieces, and eventually found that I really liked the job of being in front of the camera and conducting the interviews.

 

What are you excited about in your industry at the moment?

The potential of growth. NASCAR has stayed very tied to its traditional and old roots for quite some time now but in the last few years we are starting to see experimentation and expansion that makes me excited for the future of the sport.

We have females & POC in engineering roles, reporter roles, crew members, and drivers and are continuing to search for ways to expand and connect with new fan demographics while still trying to nurture the faithful original fans. We went back to dirt racing this year, are going to more road courses, and trying to re-bridge the gap between short track racing (which is where my heart lies) and the big leagues in NASCAR.

 

What is your number one focus when it comes to your work?

Making sure that my information is correct and relevant while also being able to portray that message in a way that a general fan understands. Motorsports has the ability to be extremely technical and hard to understand sometimes so being able to take that information and relay it, has been something I pride myself on.

Also, I think half the work is nurturing the relationships in the garage whether that’s crew chiefs or drivers – you want them all to trust you and want to talk to you as media. And usually, better quality content comes from a good relationship.

 

In your area of work, what is something you feel most people don’t talk about or focus on enough?

The pay gaps or the disproportionate wages. Most people see that I work for NASCAR and cover it at the highest level and just assume I make a ton of money. I usually have on average of three jobs throughout a year in order to just make ends meet. I think that is a common issue not just in motorsports media, but media coverage in general whether that’s local news or sports. The only way to make a good living off being a motorsports reporter is getting a high network television contract and those are just so hard to come by.

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to work in the sports industry?

Get any and all the experience that you can. Be willing to do the grunt work and be multifaceted whether that is in covering different sports or different roles. One of the biggest things that has helped me is my willingness and ability to be several different roles in a job. And that experience will pay dividends in the end and I really think make you feel more prepared when you do get big opportunities.

Also – be willing to take constructive criticism but able to tell the difference of someone who is offering constructive criticism or just being a critic – because there is a lot of both kinds of people out there.

Lastly – be authentically yourself and you will enjoy it that much more when you get to where you want to be.

 

How to connect with Hannah Newhouse…

Twitter: @HannahNewhouse

Instagram: @HannahNewhouse

Website: www.hannahnewhouse.com

 

Thanks for reading our Industry Insider with Hannah Newhouse! If you want to read more from the series, you can do so by clicking here.

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