Brehanna Daniels isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty, that’s for sure. She changes tires on cars that go more than 150 miles-per-hour. Daniels is the first African-American woman to be part of a pit crew on the NASCAR circuit, an honor she takes seriously.
“Black women who may have always wanted to be a part of NASCAR, which is known as a white space, maybe didn’t have the courage to do so,” Daniels told BlackGirlNerds.com. “Today, they see more people like me in the sport so I’m just trying to be that example for others who look like me in general.”
Daniels wasn’t a huge racing fan growing up. She was more focused on basketball and earned a scholarship to Norfolk State University in Virginia. While on campus, she was told about try-outs to be a member of the pit crew for NASCAR. With her work ethic and skill set, Daniels was a perfect fit for the job. However, there were obstacles to overcome.
“People were looking at me like I was foreign and everything else,” Daniels told The Undefeated. “But now people are getting used to seeing me. And it’s like, you need to just accept me for who I am. I might not look like everybody else, but times are changing.”
Daniels says she’s just one member of the pit crew and everyone needs to be in sync for the driver to be successful. But her role in society may just be a little different than men on the crew who also change tires.
“I’m doing something that not just for myself but it’s much bigger than me,” Daniels said in an interview withABC News. “I’d like to see NASCAR as multiple faces and not just one. And I want to be great and will do anything to get to that level.”
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