Busch Light announced a new commitment to sponsoring female NASCAR drivers with a $10 million contribution to the sport on Monday.
After the five-year Danica Patrick experiment, the pro racing league wants to bring more female racers into the industry through the Accelerate Her program.
According to Front Office Sports, drivers aged 21 and older will benefit from the 3-year, $10 million pledge. A portion of the pledge will go into a sponsorship fund for up-and-coming drivers.
Several Women To Benefit From Initiative
There are seven female NASCAR racers in the sport’s minor leagues, and now they’ll race for the Busch Light racing team.
Trucks full-time racer Jennifer Jo Cobb likely leads the field of racers. Natalie Decker, Toni Breidinger, Amber Balcaen, Brittney Zamora, Stephanie Moyer and Melissa Fifield are also on the team. Cobb has also raced in the Xfinity Series.
Fifield, a 29-year-old New Hampshire native, applauded the pledge. The driver competes in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, driving the No. 01 Chevrolet for her family-owned team.
“I believe it’s a win-win for Busch and all of the female drivers involved in our sport. It’s just a huge deal, and I’m really excited and fortunate to be a part of the program.”
“Why hasn’t a female won in one of the top levels of NASCAR? I feel like it’s a fairly simple answer,” Breidinger said in a NASCAR statement. “We don’t get the same (support), equipment, or seat time as male drivers.”
The 22-year-old is the all-time winningest female in United States Auto Club racing history with 19 wins.
“I know firsthand that women drivers in NASCAR face obstacles in advancing to the highest level of the sport,” the driver told Racer.com. “But the track doesn’t know gender, the car doesn’t know gender, so gender is irrelevant. At the end of the day, we’re all drivers on the same track racing towards the same goal.”
Busch Light’s Partnership To Help Each Woman
The women who race in the Accelerate Her group will get funding for their cars.
According to NASCAR, each Accelerate Her driver gets assistance with direct sponsorship fees, brand social-media support, media value and awareness through owned assets, and additional media training and earned public relations.
Busch Light currently sponsors NASCAR Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick. His No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford will have a #BuschRaceTeam paint scheme for Sunday’s season-opening Daytona 500. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. and airs on FOX.
According to the Racer website, there is no current female driver on the Cup Series level. Patrick was the last, running from 2013 to 2017. The former IndyCar driver had 191 career starts. Patrick had one pole win and seven Top-10 finishes during that time.
Camping World Truck Series drivers Hailie Deegan and Cobb were the only female drivers with full-time rides at the NASCAR national series level in 2021.