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MJHS junior stays busy as Miss Speedway and driver
Nov 02, 2012 12:00 am
By LARRY WOODY
Mt. Juliet’s Hannah Garrett is a familiar face in Victory Lane – both as a winning driver and as Miss Highland Rim Speedway.
“Racing is something I’ve always enjoyed,” says Hannah, 16, a junior at Mt. Juliet High.
“When I was a little girl I’d watch my dad (Tim) work on race cars, and at age seven I started racing Quartet Midgets at the Music City Quarter Midget track in Hermitage. I’ve been racing ever since.”
Hannah captured the Quarter Midget track championship in 2009, setting two track records along the way and wining the Sportsmanship Award.
Eventually she graduated to bigger races. Earlier this year competed in a major race at Nashville’s historic Fairgrounds Speedway, finishing an impressive sixth.
She also ran a race in the Pro Trucks Division at Highland Rim but was caught up in an early crash.
She plans to run more races at the Rim, in addition to her Miss Speedway duties. The Highland Rim track operators intend to race into mid-November, weather permitting.
When not on the track Hannah is trackside, serving as Miss Highland Rim Speedway. She presents the various race winners their trophies in Victory Lane and serves in other promotional capacities, such as appearing in a parade in Greenbrier.
“I was looking for a job and one of the track officials asked if I’d be interested in serving as Miss Speedway,” Hannah says. “I said sure, since I’m at the track anyway. I enjoy doing it.”
Hannah does more than drive the race cars; she works on them as well.
“That was the deal I made with my dad,” she says. “He told me I could race, but I had to learn about the mechanics too. He’s a good teacher and I’ve learned a lot from him.”
Hannah, who was featured in a recent edition of Middle Tennessee Racing news, has captured the attention of some of her schoolmates.
“One of the boys didn’t believe I really drove a race car,” she says with a laugh, “so next day I had my dad bring it to school to show him.”
Hannah’s e-mail address is “Little Danica,” in reference to racing star Danica Patrick.
“My dad gave me that nickname,” Hannah says. “We were down in Alabama one weekend visiting my grandfather, and I was tearing his yard up with my go-kart. My dad said something like, ‘She’s my little Danica …’ and it stuck.”
Patrick has combined poise and personality with racing talent and determination to make herself a major celebrity in the sport. Hannah would like to follow in her tracks, but while she’s racing she intends to pursue her education.
After graduating from high school she plans to enroll at Trevecca University in Nashville and pursue a degree in nursing.
“My goal is to race professionally,” she says, “but I also want to get my degree. I know it’ll be hectic but I can do it.”
Student, racer, Miss Speedway – it’s a demanding slate.
“It keeps me busy,” Hannah says, “but it’s something I enjoy and I never get tired of it.”