TheGrio's 100: Tia Norfleet, racing to become NASCAR's first black female driver

theGRIO's 100 - Tia Norfleet is making history as the first and only woman to be issued a NASCAR license in the organization's 63-year history...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

In 2012, despite the myriad of records and firsts for African-Americans in sports, one franchise has yet to see its first African-American female member: NASCAR drivers. Twenty-four-year-old Tia Norfleet, as the daughter of professional racecar driver Bobby Norfleet, is determined to take that historic drive one day soon.

“My finest memory of my racing experience would be when I was about five. I had a little Corvette car, and my dad put two car batteries in it. I literally drove that car until the wheels fell off. Ever since then, I’ve just been so enthused about motorsports,” she said on her website.

Norfleet grew up in Virginia, but now lives in Georgia — and she’s all about making her mark on history and recognizing those who paved the way for her. As part of this mission, she wears the number 34 in honor of the late Wendell Scott, the legendary racer who was the first African-American to race and win in what’s now called the Sprint Cup Series.

Tia Norfleet is making history as… the first and only woman to be issued a NASCAR license in the organization’s 63-year history. While that is a huge accomplishment, Norfleet continues to work toward her goal of becoming the first black female driver.

What’s next for Tia?

Norfleet continues to pursue her ultimate goal. She has not yet qualified for long-distance races, such as Daytona and Talladega; plus, she needs millions of dollars to fund a racing crew and the dozens of cars needed for NASCAR competitions.

A little-known fact about Tia Norfleet…

When she’s not racing, Norfleet gives back to the community. She launched a chapter of the Driven to Read program, which is dedicated to teaching children the importance of reading while relating it to racing.

For more information about Tia Norfleet, THE”>click here GRIO’S Q & A WITH TIA NORFLEET

Q:What’s next in this chapter of your life?

A: Inspiring a new class of leaders.

Q: What’s a fact about you that many people don’t know?

A: That I am a gifted singer and writer.

Q: What’s your favorite quote?

A: “Get right or get left.”

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?

A: From my mother, father and the people who have been made to believe that they are not good enough to succeed.

Q: Who are/were your mentors?

A: Bobby Norfleet, Michelle Norfleet, Rick Norfleet, Wanda Turner, and Allen L. Ellison

Q: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to achieve their dreams?

A: Surround yourself with good people that see your vision and have a desire to help and support you all the way, because no one gets anywhere by themselves.

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