How many black race car drivers can you name? If you’re like most people, the answer is not many.
So, we decided to highlight some awesome black race car drivers who are shaking up the racing world. Whether they’re making history or smashing records, these drivers are definitely worth watching, and their careers worth following!
Get ready to be inspired by their stories and gear up for some serious Racing 101. Buckle up. It’s going to be a wild ride!
Of all the talented black race car drivers out there, one who definitely stands out is Lewis Hamilton. Not only is he an incredible driver, but he’s also become a revolutionary figure in the world of motorsports.
He’s the first and only black driver to win a Formula One World Championship, and he currently holds the record for the most World Drivers’ Championships. In addition to his on-track success, Hamilton has also been a vocal advocate for diversity in motorsports.
He’s spoken out about the lack of representation of black drivers in the sport, and he’s even set up his own foundation to help encourage young people from all backgrounds to pursue a career in motorsports. There’s no doubt that Hamilton is a role model for aspiring black race car drivers everywhere, and his impact on the sport will be felt for years to come.
While Lewis Hamilton may be the most well-known black race car driver, he’s certainly not the only one making waves in the racing world. When it comes to fast cars and skilled drivers, Tia Norfleet is in a league of her own.
As the daughter of NASCAR legend Bobby Norfleet, Tia grew up around the track. As a result, she developed a passion for racing at an early age. Tia began driving professionally in 2012 and quickly made a name for herself in the world of stock car racing. The same year, she made history by becoming the first African American woman to win a major NASCAR race.
Since then, she has gone on to win several more races and establish herself as one of the top drivers in the sport. In addition to her on-track success, Tia is also known for her charitable work with various youth organizations. She is a role model for young people everywhere and an inspiration to anyone who dreams of chasing their goals.
Wendell Oliver Scott
Wendell Oliver Scott is the first black driver to win a NASCAR race. Scott made history in 1963 when he took home the Grand National Series victory at Speedway Park in Jacksonville, Florida.
His historic win was met with skepticism and criticism from some NASCAR officials, who claimed that Scott had been given preferential treatment due to his race. However, Scott’s talent and skill were undeniable, and he went on to have a successful career in NASCAR. Scott was constantly subjected to death threats and racial slurs for his accomplishments and his impact.
Still, he persevered and became a true pioneer in the world of NASCAR. In 2015, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame posthumously. His legacy is still evident today, as he inspired a new generation of black drivers like Darrell Wallace Jr. and Bubba Wallace to pursue a career in racing.
Willy T. Ribbs
If you’re a fan of IndyCar, then you’ll definitely know the name Willy T. Ribbs. He’s often referred to as the “bad boy” of IndyCar, and there’s no doubt that he’s had a colorful career. Ribbs became the first black driver to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 in 1991.
He went on to have a successful career in both IndyCar and NASCAR. He’s also been involved in several off-track controversies, including an infamous fistfight with another driver. Regardless of his tumultuous past, there’s no denying that Ribbs is a talented driver who made history in the world of motorsports.
William Alexander Lester III
William Alexander Lester III is a black race car driver from the United States. He started his racing career in 1986 when he won the SCCA Regional Road Racing Championship. Since then, he has competed in various races across the country.
In 2010, he made history by becoming the first African American since 1986 to participate in the Nextel Cup at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Lester is a role model for aspiring black race car drivers, and his story is an inspiration to anyone who pursues their dreams with determination and perseverance.
Despite the obstacles he has faced, Lester has achieved great success in his career, and he is proof that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
Antron Brown is a professional drag racer who currently competes in the Top Fuel class of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, in 1976 and began racing motorcycles at the age of six. After winning several championships, he set his sights on drag racing. He made his professional debut in 1998 and won his first Top Fuel race in 2012. He is the first African American to win an NHRA Top Fuel championship.
Today, Antron co-hosts the show “Top Gear America” on Motor Trend and is one of the most popular drivers in the world of motorsports.
Marc Davis, A Black Race Car Driver
Marc Davis is a former stock car racing developmental driver for Joe Gibbs Racing. He began competing in BMX and quarter midgets before moving to legends. Davis became the first champion to win both championships in the same season when he won two 2003 national legends car championships at 13 years old.
He went on to rank ninth overall in the points standings at Mooresville, North Carolina. Davis is currently working for Hendrick BMW in North Carolina.
Ryan Gifford is a black race car driver who made his debut in go-karts at the age of eight. He has since gone on to compete in the World Karting Association and stock car racing. In 2009, Gifford caught the attention of Mike Dillon, the son-in-law of Richard Childress, and was offered a spot on Team Dillon Racing.
Gifford made his NASCAR debut in 2010, racing in the K&N Pro Series East. During the 10-race schedule, he finished 9th in points with four top fives. He is also a member of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. Gifford became the first African-American driver to win a pole in the K&N East series. At the moment, he works in the Team Dillon Racing shop.
Bubba Wallace is an American professional stock car racing driver. Currently, he is a full-time NASCAR Cup Series driver for Richard Petty Motorsports. Wallace is the most successful African-American driver in NASCAR history, winning two Truck Series races in 2013.
In 2018, he made history again by becoming the first African-American driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race when he took victory in the Alabama 500. Wallace has also been vocal about the need for more diversity in NASCAR. He is a role model for aspiring young drivers of all backgrounds.
Wallace is a true pioneer in the sport of stock car racing, and he continues to break down barriers with every race.
Cheryl Linn Glass
Race car driver and entrepreneur Cheryl Linn Glass was born in 1950 in California. She started racing quarter-midget cars when she was nine years old, and by 18, she was racing sprint cars professionally. She was nicknamed “The Lady.” She was the first African American woman to drive professionally in the United States.
Glass’s career was cut short due to injuries and lack of funding, and her last race was in 1991. She passed away in 1997 at the age of 36.
Even to this day, her legacy continues to inspire young female racers all over the world. She was a true pioneer in the sport of auto racing.
Rajo Jack was one of the most successful black race car drivers of his time. He faced racism both on and off the track, but his talent and determination earned him the respect of his peers. He racked up an impressive list of wins throughout his career.
Still, he was never able to compete in the Indianapolis 500 because of his skin color. Nevertheless, in 2003 he was inducted into the West Coast Stock Car Hall of Fame and the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame in 2007, finally obtaining his well-deserved place among other influential racers.
Elias Bowie was a groundbreaking figure in the world of racing. His lone start in the NASCAR Grand National Series came on July 31, 1955, and it was the first time an African-American had competed in the series.
Although he finished 28th out of 34 cars, he made a lasting impact on the sport. He paved the way for other black drivers to follow in his footsteps, and his legacy continues to inspire race car drivers of all backgrounds today. Elias Bowie was a true pioneer, and his contributions to the racing world will never be forgotten.
Charlie Scott is a former NASCAR driver from Forest Park, GA. He competed in one Nextel Cup Series event and raced at Daytona Beach as part of the six-car team. His best finish was 14th place. Although he didn’t have a long career in NASCAR, he was one of the first black drivers to compete at the highest level of stock car racing.
He paved the way for other black drivers like Wendell Scott, Bill Lester, and Darrell Wallace Jr. to have successful careers in NASCAR.
American professional racing driver Chase Austin competes in various NASCAR series, including the Nationwide Series and the Camping World Truck Series. Between 2011 and 2014, he raced in the Firestone Indy Lights series. A pole position, one top-five finish, and six top-ten finishes were among his accomplishments in 2009.
Austin is also a former development driver with Rusty Wallace Racing and Hendrick Motorsports. Today, he remains an active part of the racing community and is a respected figure among his peers. As more black race car drivers continue to emerge, Austin is undoubtedly paving the way for future generations of talented drivers.
Jesse Iwuji is a race car driver with a difference. Not only is he one of the few black drivers on the circuit, he is also a Naval Officer and a reservist in the United States Navy Reserve. Iwuji’s passion for racing started at an early age, and he has worked his way up through the ranks of the NASCAR circuit, competing in both the Xfinity and Truck series.
Iwuji is one of a new generation of black drivers who are making their mark on the world of motorsport, and he is proof that anything is possible with hard work and determination.
Morty Buckles is another early-starter on our list compared to the likes of Lewis Hamilton. He began racing go-karts at age six and quickly developed a knack for it. In his first year driving in the World Karting Association, he won 22 races out of 252 total starts. Impressive stats like that earned him a spot in NASCAR’s first Drive for Diversity class.
Buckles then went on to get a degree in mechanical engineering from Southern Polytechnic State University. He definitely made the most of his opportunities and is now an inspiration to other black drivers who are looking to make it in the world of motorsports.
Top Black Race Car Drivers, Final Thoughts
As you can see, there are plenty of incredibly talented black race car drivers tearing up the tracks! They have made a lasting impact on the world of motorsports and continue to inspire drivers of all backgrounds today.
These influential and inspiring drivers are just a tiny sampling of the many talented black race car drivers out there, so be sure to keep an eye out for them in the future! With so many talents out there already, there will surely be countless more to come.