NASCAR: Toni Breidinger Daytona 500 Debut Makes History as First Arab-American Female Driver

by Joe Rutland

Toni Breidinger, 21, made history when she became the first Arab American female driver to drive in a NASCAR national series race.

Breidinger made her debut on Saturday in the ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series races. This took place at the historic Daytona International Motorspeedway in Daytona Beach, Fla.

She has called this her career’s biggest race.

“Daytona is going to be the biggest race of my career, but I’m ready for it,” said Breidinger told People Magazine.

Breidinger is from California and is of Lebanese descent.

“It’s going to be a competitive race, but I know that the Young’s Motorsports team will prepare me a fast race car and we can contend for a top-10 finish,” she said. “That is our goal, a top-10 finish.”

Weather Halts Plans For NASCAR Daytona 500 Practice

While Breidinger was making history, other drivers were hoping to get some final laps around the historic oval on Saturday. But inclement weather would not allow them to take a few spins around in advance of the Daytona 500 on Sunday.

NASCAR fans are crossing their fingers that stormy weather will just stay a classic song and not become a reality.

The Daytona 500 is usually one of the best NASCAR races all season long. It kicks off the NASCAR Cup Series season right along the upper Florida coastline next to the Atlantic Ocean.

Scheduling around noontime Saturday, Feb. 13, looked like the 63rd annual race will hit the air live on FOX at 2:30 p.m. EST.

If you are not near a TV, then livestream the race using FOX Sports Go or listen to the Daytona 500 on your local Motor Racing Network radio station.

Heading up commentary duties on FOX for the Daytona 500 will be Clint BowyerJeff Gordon, and Mike Joy.

Check out everything you need to know about how to watch the Daytona 500 here.

Bubba Wallace Continues To Support NASCAR Diversity

On another matter, Bubba Wallace is the first African-American driver to race full time in NASCAR’s top series since Wendell Scott in 1971.

Wallace said he believes NASCAR is taking positive steps to promote diversity in its sport.

“Diversity is taking a huge leap in the right direction, I believe,” Wallace said. “Still a lot of work to be done. But for MJ (Michael Jordan) and a person of his stature to come through and want to be an owner in a sport and show like, ‘Hey the sport is changing,’ hopefully it encourages others to want to do the same.”

Jordan announced in September that he and NASCAR veteran Denny Hamlin would be joining forces. The two sports stars would create 23XI Racing and recruited Wallace to be their first driver. He will race in the No. 23 car for the newly-formed team.