NY Times: ‘First and only African-American female licensed by NASCAR’ is a bit of a stretch

Tia NorfleetTia Norfleet bills herself as “the first and only licensed African-American female NASCAR driver”. She even has photo on her website wearing a firesuit with the Nationwide Series logo and her racing schedule lists her as competing in the 2013 Nationwide Series.

Yet she’s only licensed to participate in bottom tier series races. The Nationwide Series is second tier. She bought the license to compete at local and regional events; those licenses are not regulated. The truth is she hasn’t been approved by NASCAR to move up, and in her only sanctioned race, she completed just one lap before parking her car, says Nick Bromberg of Yahoo! Sports.

“Ms. Norfleet is one of thousands of individuals who have purchased licenses in the Late Model Division of our sport,” NASCAR Vice President for Public Affairs and Multicultural Development Marcus Jadotte said in an e-mail to the New York Times.”

“I am uncomfortable with Tia representing herself in the way that she has,” he said.

She does have an impressive record at first glance, but her 37 wins in 52 starts came from drag racing.

And to make matters worse, according to Yahoo story, she has a “criminal record including assault and drug related offenses. Her father Bobby Norfleet (referred to as a race car legend by the Washington Post), made one start in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series in 2000 — the sanctioning body’s third-highest level — and according to Racing Reference, finished 32nd after starting 33rd and last.”

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