DAYTONA BEACH, Fla - In celebration of the sport's diversity and inclusion trailblazers, NASCAR virtually hosted its 13th Drive for Diversity Awards to honor industry members whose efforts were making a difference both on and off the racetrack.
Norfolk State product Brehanna Daniels received the Crew Member Award as a pit crew Independent Contractor.
Daniels was one of 10 individuals recognized at this year’s virtual awards ceremony held on Thursday. She was honored for her pioneer work in NASCAR after becoming the first African-American woman to pit in a national car racing series and then in one of NASCAR’s top three series, both in 2017.
In 2018, Daniels made history as the first African-American woman to pit in NASCAR’s top series. She did it again in 2019 when she became the first African-American woman and the first African-American graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Program to serve on a pit crew at the Daytona 500. That same race, she and her teammate Breanna O’Leary became the first two women teammates to pit at the Daytona 500.
When she isn't mentoring, Daniels works races as a tire changer for the #52 XFinity car of Jimmy Means Racing.
The Drive for Diversity Awards are held each year to honor the motorsports industry’s diversity leaders and recognize top achievements. Aside from Crew Member, other awards include Civic/Educational Institution, Diverse Driver, Industry Ambassador, Outstanding Intern, NASCAR Partner, Track, Team, Young Racer and National Series Driver awards.
“As we continue in our mission to enhance diversity across this great sport, we are inspired by the stories and efforts of so many leaders within the industry who are setting positive examples and driving meaningful change,” NASCAR President Steve Phelps said. “We are proud to recognize individuals and organizations whose hard work and accomplishments are having a profound impact and contributing to a more diverse and inclusive NASCAR.”
->Norfolk State Sports Information contributed to this report.