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Harli White to head Down Under


THE USA v WA Sprintcar Speedweek, that kicks off at the Perth Motorplex on Boxing Day, just got a whole lot cooler with the confirmation of Harli White into the deal.

The 23-year-old professional racer from Lindsay, Oklahoma, is looking forward to her second trip to Australia, but her first on this side of the country, and said she couldn’t wait to arrive in Perth just prior to Christmas.

She will be driving for Terry Cutts Racing and have local crew chief Geoff Murphy overseeing the team, joining fellow Americans Ryan Smith and Parker Price-Miller who raced in WA last summer.

Speedweek starts at Motorplex on December 26 before moving to Collie Speedway on December 27, then back at the Motorplex on December 29 and wrapping up at Bunbury Speedway on January 1.

But that is not the only time WA racefans will get to see this pocket rocket in action.

She will also compete at the Motorplex on January 12, back at Bunbury on January 19 and hopefully in a 360 race at Esperance Speedway over the Australia Day long weekend.

And then White will return for the Krikke Boys Shootout, at Bunbury on the March long weekend.

“I’m really excited, I have never been to that part of Australia before, but I have heard good things about it so I am excited to see some different tracks and a different part of the country,” White said.

She last raced in Australia two years ago, mainly at Sydney, as well as contesting the Warrnambool Classic.

From that first tour ‘Down Under’ White said the racing side of things was similar to what she was used to back home.

“There is a different format and things like that, but the Australian competition is just tough,” she said.

“Coming in from the US, you don’t know the names of any of the drivers and who is good, so it was like every time I went out, these guys were all fast

“Every time I was out on the track it was like an A feature.”

And while she will be playing tourist when not at the race track, make no mistake, this girl is a racer and wants to put on a good show.

“As a racer you always want to win, that’s your first goal,” White said.

“Win, win, win - that’s what you are there to do, but I just want to go out there and be consistent and finish races.

“I know it’s hard to stay out of trouble sometimes, but my goal going into every race is first you have to finish before you can win.

“I just want to go out there and just do my best - I know I am capable of it and I know I do really well in certain aspects of racing, but I am also so excited to meet all the new people.”

White said having a local crew chief would also be a major advantage.

“This is going to help me tremendously - last time (in Australia) I used my own crew chief from the US and we had no idea,” she said.

“We have never been to these tracks and they were quite different and we had no idea of what to expect.

“The crew chief deal is going to help me a lot.

“I hope to be good out of the box instead of taking a few races to get going.”


White said her level of excitement was growing by the day and she knows a bit about what to expect, having spoken to good friend Dom Scelzi who raced in WA two years ago.

She had already admitted to Googling information on the tracks and will be watching as many videos as she can in the mean time to get a handle on the local competition.

Racing in Australia over the American winter will also help White with her preparation and keep her race fit before her new season starts in Florida in February.

“When Terry messaged me and said, hey do you want to come to Australia I was like oh yeah, I’m coming, count me in.

“It helps when you can be in a car every weekend and going to Australia is the only option to do that in winter, so when February rolls around I will be jumping in my own car and be ready to go.

“I think it’s a good advantage to have.”

White’s start to racing has been well documented.

In her first race ever, in a Micro car at the age of 12 in 2008, her car flipped onto its side and the car burst into flames - she was trapped and couldn’t get out.

A man by the name of Donnie Ray Crawford was her angel on this occasion, pulling the young girl from the burning car.

She was left with scars to more than 50 per cent of her body, including many deep, third-degree burns, with the scars today serving as a visual reminder of that that fateful night.

In 2009 White returned to racing in Micros and has since made her way up to sprintcars.

Stay tuned as we reveal more soon about her tour to WA and what race fans can expect at the WA Speedweek this summer.

 
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