Tia Norfleet becomes first female black racer in NASCAR’s history – NASCAR news
Tia Norfleet, the 24-year-old becomes the first female black driver in NASCAR’s history.
Tia got her racing appetite from her father, Bobby Norfleet, a former NASCAR driver. She was first seen racing karts at the age of 14. Having shot through the amateur ranks, Tia got her NASCAR license earlier this year when she competed as a driver in her
first NASCAR race in August 2012.
Talking to Loop 21, a website focusing on news about African Americans, Tia said, “I guess when I was really young. All I ever saw my dad do was race, so when I was five, he got me a Barbie corvette and took out the batteries and put two car batteries in
it to make it go faster. That was the initial thing that made me think this is what I wanted to do.”
Bobby Norfleet has been a supportive figure for her daughter. Having been a NASCAR driver himself in the past, Bobby knows what it takes to be prepared for a NASCAR race.
“She would come with me to events and be around when I was working on a car. It wasn't too hard, but it was hard from a financial point because you have to find a lot of back roads, or a racetrack, which costs money,” Bobby said.
Over the last decade, NASCAR has made efforts to diversify stock racing so that it will not look like a sport in which only white people take part. Appointing the legendary basketball player, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, to the post of co-chairman of NASCAR’s
Executive Steering Committee for Diversity, was the first attempt made by NASCAR at diversifying stick racing in America
Tia’s career as a NASCAR driver will have numerous effects on stock car racing in America. It will not only encourage more women to give racing a try as a career but is also going to draw more advocates to NASCAR racing, especially the Black community who
will love to see one of their own drivers racing in a major event.