Toni Breidinger Becomes NASCAR's First Arab-American Female Driver

21-year-old racer Toni Breidinger is something of a badass. She’s the winningest female driver in USAC history with 19 victories, and now she’s set her sights on stock car racing in 2021 with part-time seats in both the ARCA Menards Series and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series—making her the first-ever Arab-American woman to compete in any division of NASCAR.

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Breidinger has signed on with Young’s Motorsports for both series, and she’ll be making her debut at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2021.

“Daytona is going to be the biggest race of my career, but I’m ready for it,” Breidinger said in a press release. “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. That is our goal, a top-10 finish.”

That’s a big goal considering the long-term part-time status of the team, but it’s still a possibility. It’ll be fascinating to watch Breidinger’s progress, especially since she only recently made her swap from dirt to asphalt—but she’s been kicking ass there nonetheless. In 2020, she competed in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series, where she finished fourth in the championship. She also competed in three races in ARCA in 2018, where she finished 10th, 12th, and 16th.

Breidinger is a pretty damn good asset for the team, too, considering that she’s also modeled for brands like Head and Shoulders, Sunny D, Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS, Tory Burch, Sparco, and Bell Helmets and amassed a fairly decent social media following in the process. Race teams like drivers that can bring them solid sponsors, and Breidinger may very well be perfect for the job.

“We are thrilled to add Toni Breidinger to our Young’s Motorsports portfolio in 2021,” said Young’s Motorsports team principal Tyler Young. “She is not only motivated but determined to make her season a successful one. We know that she can go to Daytona next week and be competitive and contend to become the first ARCA Menards Series national series female winner.”

She’ll be piloting the No. 02 Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet ARCA car and the No. 82 Chevrolet Silverado NASCAR Camping World Truck Series truck. Right now, the only race guaranteed to be on her schedule is Daytona; a more detailed calendar will be released soon.

Weekends at Jalopnik. Managing editor at A Girl's Guide to Cars. Lead IndyCar writer and assistant editor at Frontstretch. Novelist. Motorsport fanatic.

DISCUSSION

notlewishamilton
NotLewisHamilton

I may be wrong, but shouldn’t she be referred to, if anything other than “racer,” as “Arab-American” and not “Arabic-American?” I think the second form refers to the language (or in other contexts cultural style) rather than the people.

And congratulations to her on her racing successes!