article by Da’ryl Victoria via thesource.com
When we think of women in NASCAR we often think of internationally celebrated Danica Patrick, however there’s one woman in particular we should be paying more attention to. Meet Tia Norfleet, the first African-American female NASCAR driver and daughter of legendary NASCAR driver Bobby Norfleet.
The adrenaline and skill of driving at high speeds resides in the bloodline of the Norfleet family, and the love and passion for the sport has been held by Tia since age seven. Having a Hot Wheels Barbie car was a top priority for millions of young girls in the early 90s, but Norfleet’s car would trump others when Mr. Norfleet doubled the battery power of her Barbie Corvette.
Barely a teen, and roughly 10 years removed from the legal age to drive, Bobby Norfleet handed his pre-teen daughter the keys to their family mini-van, knowing she could handle the road alone. At nine years old Tia, now a semi-pro behind the wheel, embarked on daily trips to karate practice, convenient stores, and traveling around her neighborhood in preparation of becoming one out of a handful of women in a high speed and dangerous male dominated sport.
At age 14, Norfleet began competing on a local and regional level in kart racing, leading into a successful drag racing career resulting in top rank stats: winning 37 out of 52 events. In 2000, she switched her focus, setting her sights on dominating the track in entry level spec racing, competing in Bandolero cars. Eventually in 2004, Norfleet would move on to late model stock car racing on short tracks, later becoming the first African-American to obtain a NASCAR late model series racing license. Continue reading “SPORTS: Meet Tia Norfleet, the 1st Black Female NASCAR Driver”