Delta Dental of Iowa is celebrating Iowans who make extraordinary things happen — the folks chasing their dreams … shaking things up … all while staying true to their values and working toward a bigger purpose than their own personal success. They are Authentically Iowan. We’re on a journey to discover these Iowans. And, when we find these gems, we’ll introduce them to you. Some you may have heard of, others may not be so well known. All have something to say. We’re listening.
Our first Authentically Iowan is Carlisle native, McKenna Haase. At 22, McKenna is already a champion Sprint race car driver, the first and only female to win a feature race at the nationally famous Knoxville Speedway. And, just this past January she raced in Tulsa, OK at the iconic Chili Bowl Nationals — the most important racing weekend in the Midget race car series. She has big, bold goals to race professionally and the Chili Bowl weekend moved her one step closer to her dream.
McKenna is CEO of THR Racing, LLC and manages all the business aspects of a professional race program, including sponsorship, operations, and racing. Yet, she just might be most in her element when she is spending time with her young race fans. She founded and manages Compass Racing, a racing driver development program for youth. In working with youth racers, McKenna nurtures their passion for racing and models important character traits for success on and off the track: teamwork, honesty, excellence and integrity. She also has recently founded a nonprofit Youth Racing Association with a goal of bringing more kids into racing whose families don’t have the financial means to participate in this expensive sport on their own.
Our president and CEO, Jeff Russell, was impressed by McKenna’s drive, perseverance, and vision after meeting her. “McKenna’s a wonderful representation of what it means to be Authentically Iowan. As an Iowa company, Delta Dental believes in helping our neighbors — in our case, working to help all Iowans live happy and healthy lives. We recognized McKenna’s grit, business saavy, and youth development work and realized she is going to make a real difference — to young Iowans with aspirations to race and to everyone who dreams big. We’re proud to be a part of helping McKenna realize her dreams as one of her sponsors this year.”
Over the next few weeks McKenna will give some insight into her life and what she believes has led to her success as a racecar driver, business woman, and youth coach.
We joined McKenna in Tulsa at the Chili Bowl and spent some time talking with her about life as a professional racer. Check out the awesome Chili Bowl craziness and get to know McKenna.