Life in the Fast Lane

NACA senior Annie Rhule travels around the country as a professional go-kart driver.


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NACA senior Annie Rhule leads an unconventional high school life, but when she is behind the wheel, nowhere else feels quite as right.

McKenna Flannagan, Staff Writer

An eight-year-old little blonde girl with bright blue eyes looks up and says to her father, “Is it my turn to drive?”

Annie Rhule, a senior at North Allegheny Cyber Academy, has been a professional go-kart racer for Magik Kart USA since 2015. Annie says that her father first introduced her to the sport.


“My dad has always had a love for motorsports. He used to do charity races in Downtown Pittsburgh where he would build a go-kart and race it in the streets of Pittsburgh to raise money for charity,” she said.

Prior to racing, Rhule dabbled in several sports that do not exactly fit the mold of what she does today.

“I did dance, gymnastics, and cheerleading. It is very ironic. I did all of the female sports and am now in a male-dominated sport,” Rhule told The Uproar.

Rhule is a Girl Power Ambassador for Redline Ace, and she truly lives the part. The drivers she races with (on her team, Checkered Motorsports) and against — at speeds up to 95mph — are not at all similar to her.

“They are grown men who are five to ten years older, 60 pounds heavier, and a foot taller than I am,” she said. “I have raced against former F1 drivers, IndyCar drivers, and world champions in go-karting.”

Rhule has competed against famous racers, such as Pippa Mann and Rubens Barichello, but when asked whom she admires most in the driving world, her answer was simple.

“I look up to everyone…. because I am really short,” she said.

Annie Rhule’s non-traditional teenage life is noteworthy enough, but in her mind, it is only the beginning. (Karlie Jones via )

Rhule’s outstanding driving abilities have not gone unrecognized. In 2018, she was the F-Series Mini Rock Champion and the F-Series Mini Swift Champion. In 2019, she was third place in the F-Series Tag Junior Championship and third place in the KA100 SKUSA Winter Series.

2020 was a big year for Rhule. She was a F-series Formula Shifter champion and placed third in F-Series KZ Championship. She was also ranked as the #1 female shifter driver nationally and overall best shifter driver in the nation. Most recently in 2021, she was a Mazda MX5 Shootout driver, F-Series KZ Championship leader to date, and set four track records at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex.

In the future, Rhule would like to continue racing but take it to the next level and enter the world of car racing. Her dream car is a Lamborghini Super Trofeo.

“Just look at it!” Rhule gushed.

As is her way, Rhule is actively pursuing the next stage in her budding career.

“I am currently working with three different car opportunities trying to get into sports car racing,” she said. “I am planning on doing two years of community college so I can continue racing and hopefully land a car deal during that time.”

Rhule certainly does not lead the stereotypical life of a high school senior, but she would not trade her experiences for anything.

“I was missing around 40 days of school per year, so doing school online just accommodates the traveling schedule better,” she said. ““Being online and a racer is better for my personal mental and physical health.”