Obsessed with engines and anything mechanical since birth, Sara Haro is the latest in her family to be bitten by the driving bug. Based with the Blacklidge team in Tampa, Sara loves nothing more than the sound of a revving engine–be it the one she’s modified in her modified 2014 Mustang V6 6-speed or the one under the hood of her blacked-out work truck.
What do you do at Blacklidge?
I am a truck driver based in Tampa. I love it!
What motivated you to become a driver?
I’ve always loved machinery in general, especially anything I can drive. There’s even a picture of me when I was a few months old in the bed of my dad’s Dodge RAM. My uncle is a truck driver in Sweden, and my grandpa always knew everything about machinery. My grandfather on my dad’s side was a truck driver, too! I guess it runs in our blood.
What is your favorite part of working with Blacklidge?
My team. I love the people I work with! They are really great people, and they always try to help out. One of my best friends is my co-driver Chanel. We’re both young women who drive trucks for Blacklidge. We always call each other up to chat or vent if we’re stuck in traffic or if anything is going on in our lives. We can look to each other for support, and we really understand each other and what it means to be in this position.
Blacklidge is also really understanding of my racing schedule. They’re very supportive when it comes to racing, which is great, because I want to be doing a lot more racing and competing in the future.
Speaking of racing, how did you get started with that?
My family has always loved cars. I grew up in Sweden, but when I’d come visit my dad in the States we would watch NASCAR together, and I loved it. I always knew I wanted to drive professionally someday. In Sweden I did a lot of driving on ice, which is sort of like drifting, which I do now. I started racing in 2018, and I’ve been doing a lot of drifting in Orlando and Tampa.
What draws you to racing and drifting?
The freedom, for sure. The sound of an engine makes me happy like nothing else. I love the thrill of revving an engine, and drifting is almost like ice skating, in a way. It’s beautiful and free and so much fun.
Is it easy to connect with other women in these industries?
I’m lucky because I have a few women on my Blacklidge team, but there are a lot more male drivers than female. That’s also true in racing. I go to car shows and make new friends there and when I tell them what I do, sometimes they’re interested in trucking, too. As for racing, I’ve heard a lot about some female-only racing up north. I haven’t gotten to go yet, but I’ve heard that it can really help women who want to get into racing. Having the support of other women in an all female space can be helpful. That said, I enjoy racing against guys because I love to prove them wrong. When people doubt me, it drives me. It’s my most powerful motivation.
Who inspires you in what you do?
I know it’s cliché, but my family inspires me. My mom and dad inspire me because my mom is a very independent and strong woman, and my dad is very supportive and he helps me to make it through. What I learn from him I give to others, especially if they’re in a tough spot.
If a young woman just starting out in the asphalt industry came up to you and asked you for advice, what would you say to her?
I’d tell her to tough it out. People might comment on you working in a mostly-male industry. Just let comments go by. It’s almost funny to me now. A few times when I show up at truck stops people see my truck and are like, “Wow, you’re driving that?” It’s not just here, and it’s not just with trucking. In Sweden, I was a crane truck operator. I’d be lifting stuff, big stuff, and sometimes older men would make comments, but they wouldn’t see my skills for what they are. That still happens a lot. Of course, I’m open to suggestions. But, a lot of the time people are set in their ways and whatever is different is wrong to them. It’s the same thing in racing and drifting. They think, “Oh it’s a girl, I can beat her.” I want to change that perception, and I want other women to believe they can change that with me.