African American NASCAR drivers often broke barriers. In recent years, NASCAR has become more inclusive, with programs such as Drive for Diversity encouraging representation across a spectrum of racial and ethnic identities. There are many African American drivers who, historically, paved the way for diversity in the sport. If you're interested about the subject, you'll find a list of Black NASCAR drivers below.
Wendell Scott, who was entered into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2015, was among the first African American NASCAR drivers in history, as was Elias Bowie. More recently, drivers like Darrell Wallace Jr. and Marc Davis have competed and placed in huge races. Tia Norfleet, whose father was also a racer, is one of the few female drivers in NASCAR. If you want to learn more, you'll find all Black NASCAR drivers below!
Chase Austin was the youngest driver to sign with a NASCAR team as he did so at the age of 14. He was also the third African American driver to ever compete in the Indianapolis 500.
- Age: 32
- Birthplace: Eudora, Kansas
Randy Bethea became only the fourth Black driver to participate in a NASCAR Cup race back in 1975. He said there was minimal media coverage of the event, saying, "The promoter talked about it quite a bit, but as far as the media coverage, there wasn't any to my knowledge. That was pretty much it. So you're there. So you're Black. So whatever."
NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Ryan Gifford made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway in 2013. Talking about the experience, Gifford said, "I’m thrilled that Menards and RCR are giving me the chance to race in my first Nationwide Series event."
- Age: 29
- Birthplace: Winchester, Tennessee, United States of America
Willy T. Ribbs
Willy T. Ribbs competed in several NASCAR series from the mid 1980s to the early 2000s. He's been outspoken about the lack of diversity in racing, saying in a 2016 interview:
NASCAR... as far as their diversity program is concerned, it's a scam. And what are other racing disciplines doing? IndyCar? Nothing. All major-league sports in this country, from baseball to football to basketball, there's a beginning stage—an outreach—to get minority kids interested. There is none of that in racing.
- Age: 66
- Birthplace: San Jose, California