Eighteen year-old Harli White has much to be proud of in her 4-year micro and sprint car racing career. She ended her 2013 OCRS Sprints championship season this past weekend at West Siloam Springs, OK in style. Though she finished the race in 13th place, she had much to celebrate by wrapping up the season Championship title. This feat entered Harli into the history books as the first female driver to win a sanctioned sprint car championship in the Plains region.
"Whew! We did it. It was a great accomplishment and one that I owe to so many people." said an excited White. "I would have liked to have had a better finish but we did what we set out to do and that was win this Championship. I need to thank my mom and dad, they have done so much for me and have been there through everything. The Crawford family is celebrating with us, and I am eternally grateful to them. I am so glad they are here to share this with me."
Harli's first career-start in micro racing came in April of 2008, and almost was her last. In that first ever race, the young rookie's car flipped, landing on its side with Harli trapped inside. Unable to escape her harness, White was pinned in the seat when the car exploded into flames. Fellow racer Donnie Ray Crawford pulled Harli from the burning wreck, but she sustained third degree burns across 50% of her body, leaving permanent scars. White spent 21 days at Shriner's Hospital for Children in Galveston, TX where she would undergo several skin-graft surguries to heal her burned body. But the 13-year old girl would not let the experience detour her dreams. While still in the hospital, Harli was already asking if her race car could be fixed, and wanted to return to racing as soon as her health would allow. Grateful for the second opportunity at her dream, she returned to micro racing in 2009, and continued up the ranks to sprint car racing.
Now that she has wrapped up her first championship, Harli White will move onto her next challenge: the ASCS Winter Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX. The Oklahoma also welcomes a veteran crew chief to her team, with the addition of Rob Hart. Hart will lend his expertise for the Winter Nationals as well as upcoming Short Track Nationals.
"We are really excited to have Rob on board for the next few races." said White, "Rob has worked with a lot of young drivers and has the experience to really assist us to be a better team. I look forward to working and learning with him."