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(Photo: Haley Constance)

The thrill of competition: 17-year-old Haley Constance keeps eyes on Evergreen Speedway victory

Haley Constance played volleyball and basketball growing up in Washington, but neither of those sports fueled her competitive spirit like racing.

“Racing, it’s a feeling like no other. For me at least,” Constance said. “I played sports growing up, too, but racing was just always different for me. I would sacrifice everything just to go race. I would miss hanging out with my friends. I would rather go racing on the weekends, instead. I’ve always just had a really big passion for it ever since I was little. That’s what really keeps me in it.”

Constance first got behind the wheel at a young age. A very young age.

She was 3 when she started racing go-karts, and she eventually moved into stock cars and late models. The 17-year-old now races in the Speedway Chevrolet Pro Late Model division at Evergreen Speedway, a NASCAR-sanctioned asphalt oval track in Monroe, Washington.

FloRacing: Constance searching for first Evergreen victory

 

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In her second year in a pro late model, Constance has a top-three and a top-five finish in three races at Evergreen this season. She is currently fifth in the track’s points standings.

“This season I really want to get my first win in a pro late model,” she said. “That’s my ultimate goal. But just finish in the top three and get the podium a couple times, that’s our main goal. Just stay up front and keep racing how we do.”

Still a teenager, Constance is one of the youngest drivers in Evergreen’s Pro Late Model division. Since jumping up from the Junior Late Model class, she’s learned how to race with other drivers and gain their respect.

“There’s a common respect between race car drivers, so it was pretty easy at first, but the more you race with them the more you earn respect if you just race clean,” she said.

RELATED: 2022 Mark Galloway Shootout schedule, more

Constance said she would describe herself as a clean, respectful driver who likes to race everybody the right way, the way she would like to be raced.

Most everything she knows about the sport Constance learned from her dad, Joe, who also raced and now serves as her crew chief and spotter.

Even though she was really young, being a driver like her dad was always something Constance knew she wanted to do.

“I understood the concept of it, but obviously you’re so young so it takes a little bit to learn, but as I got older I learned more and with my dad coaching me I just developed as a race car driver,” she said.

“He helps me a lot in racing… It’s really nice. It’s a great opportunity having somebody like my dad be able to coach me, because I know some people don’t get that usually. And it’s nice because it just turned it into a family sport, and I get to spend more time with my family while I do something I love.

Haley Constance
(Photo: Haley Constance)

Constance is a respectful driver, but there are two competitors with whom she admittedly is extremely competitive: her younger sister, Brooklyn, and her older brother, Spencer. The other siblings both race micro sprint cars, so when Haley also gets in her own micro sprint, the three face off on the track against one another.

“We’re very competitive,” Constance said with a laugh. “It definitely does make it more fun. Sometimes it can get a little hard when we get too competitive, but it makes it more fun, and it’s just good that we can all do that together and spend time together.

“I definitely love that my whole family does it and keeps us close, because we’re always going to have that within our family.”

The family reserves Tuesday and Thursday nights each week for their “shop nights,” so they can all get together and work on the cars to prepare for that weekend’s races.

For as much as Constance said she loves being on the track, she has learned to love her shop nights just as much. Not only does it give her a chance to work on the car, but it gives her more time to spend with loved ones.

“I think that’s one of the most important things because I think most races are won in the shop,” she said. “If you’re not in the shop constantly trying to improve your car then you’re not going to do any good when you’re actually racing. So it’s almost like 50-50. You have to spend half your time in the shop, but you also have to be a good race car driver, too.

“I like getting in the shop because it helps me understand the car better, the mechanics of it. So it’s always nice, and especially when you’re doing it with your family. You can talk to them about stuff and bounce ideas off of each other, so it’s actually pretty enjoyable working on the car during the week, too.”

 

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Just three races into the season, Constance said her goals of getting her first win are still the same, though her other goals may have grown some, too.

“I think winning is probably the highest goal you can have when you’re racing,” she said. “Maybe actually getting the championship this year since we’ve been doing good and finishing higher up. I also really want to get on the podium this weekend for the Galloway. That’s one of our biggest races. So that should be pretty exciting.”

Evergreen Speedway will host the 2022 Mark Galloway Shootout, the first race of the year on the Speedway’s 5/8-mile big track. The night of racing will feature a 100-lap Pro Late Models race, Mini Stocks, Legends, Street Stocks, and Vintage Mods, beginning at 5 p.m. PT.