NORFOLK, Va. – Former Norfolk State women’s basketball player Brehanna Daniels, now a pioneer on the racing circuit, received the Crew Member award as part of the 13th annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards.
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.
Her success led to an appearance in 2019 on NBC’s The Titan Games, hosted by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
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.
A native of Virginia Beach, Daniels was a two-year letter winner with the Spartans from 2014-16 after arriving from Louisburg College. She averaged 4.9 points and 2.1 rebounds her senior year before taking part in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Combine on NSU’s campus. She later trained at Rev Racing in North Carolina to be a part of the pit crew development program.
“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,” said NASCAR President Steve Phelps. “We are proud to recognize these 10 individuals and organizations whose hard work and accomplishments are having a profound impact and contributing to a more diverse and inclusive NASCAR.”
Courtesy: Norfolk State Athletics