TACOMA, Washington — Life in the fast lane was treating sprint car driver McKenna Haase good, but she wanted to do even better.
Haase started training more, but not on the dirt track. Haase turned to American Ninja Warrior for strength, and now she has two paths to travel down.
Just like on a racetrack, at the starting line of the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course, Haase`s goal is to get to the finish line as quickly as she can. But at this finish line there is not a checkered flag, there`s a buzzer.
Fans lined up outside the Tacoma Dome in Washington early Saturday morning to see their favorite athletes compete. For the first time in 11 seasons, the competition was indoors.
“Weather is always a factor. Rain kills Ninja Warriors, that`s why the northwest has always been a problem for us,” said Matt Iseman, American Ninja Warrior host.
Ninjas got a first look at the course Saturday morning.
“We did a walk-through of the course this morning and explained all the rules and so I feel good about it. I feel good about the obstacles but it`s also nerve-wracking to see it up close and live and in person, but I`m excited and ready to go,” said Haase.
Haase had been ready to go her whole life. Her family always called her a monkey.
“She has constantly been on jungle gyms or climbing big rocks or doing all these things, so she`s always been the daredevil of the family. You`ve seen her fearlessness in racing and so Ninja [Warrior] is no different,” said a member of Haase’s family.
Haase was the first woman to win a feature at the Knoxville Raceway. She began American Ninja Warrior training to improve her performance behind the wheel.
“Sprint car racing requires a lot of upper body strength because our cars are so heavy to steer. Sprint car racing actually also involves a lot of cardio and just a lot of strong core and neck strength, and so basically when you`re racing, all the forces are pulling against you and then in Ninja Warrior training, it`s pretty much all body strength and so it`s just really helped me,” said Haase.
She brought the racetrack mindset onto the obstacle course.
“Walking up out onto the course was amazing. Amazing to hear the crowd and I told myself to walk out slow and just enjoy it,” said Haase.
Haase’s results cannot be revealed until this episode airs on NBC at the end of June or early July.
Haase says no matter the outcome, she will keep training for racing and Ninja Warrior competitions.