It wasn’t until last year that Bubba Wallace, NASCAR‘s only full-time black runner, helped get the Confederate flag banned in the company’s three series. Lenny Miller, author of the book Racing While Black, describes his family’s experience with NASCAR, and explains why racism is still part of motorsport culture.
“Nothing has changed and I wouldn’t expect that to change. NASCAR has always been politicized as a sport, ”says Lenny Miller, author of“ Racing While Black ”
Listen: Author Lenny Miller on his experiences as a black man in the world of NASCAR.
Lenny miller is the former co-owner and president of the Miller Racing Group and author of “Racing While Black: How an African-American Stock Car Team Made Its Mark on NASCAR. “He says there aren’t enough opportunities for black pilots to compete competitively in the sport, because getting sponsorships is so difficult. Plus, says Miller, the accomplishments and accolades of black pilots have been swept under the carpet or forgotten.
When Miller and his father had a NASCAR their own team, he says their sponsors would barely cover their costs for the year.
“We were putting in more of our own money than DG at that point in the car, ”he said, adding that sponsors in general are skeptical of the success of a black-led racing team. “The race is very technical, it’s very expensive. They’re not comfortable with you being able to manage the team, ”he says.
Miller says fans are a problem as well, as the vast majority of comments on articles on Bubba Wallace have been vitriolic. “Nothing has changed and I wouldn’t expect that to change. NASCAR has always been politicized as a sport, ”he says.