Who is Brehanna Daniels, the Trailblazer Female NASCAR Pit Crew Member?

Published 05/02/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
DAYTONA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 17: Brehanna Daniels, tire changer on the #52 Winn Dixie Chevrolet, looks on during the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 61st Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2019 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


In the world of NASCAR, the likes of Danica Patrick has been a trailblazer for female drivers. Soon, people like Jennifer Jo Cobb, Natalie Decker, and Hailie Deegan also followed her example. However, NASCAR found another trailblazer in its midst, though she operates behind the scenes. That woman is Brehanna Daniels, who works as a pit crew member in the sport.

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To make matters even better, she is also the first woman of color to be a NASCAR pit crew member. Speaking to TODAY, she said, “Wednesday morning, I woke up. God told me, ‘Brehanna, you have to go to this NASCAR tryout.’ I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t question that man upstairs.’”

On an interesting note, she had several sporting career options in front of her. Among them, she could have pursued a career as a basketball player, but her heart leaned towards NASCAR. As it turned out, Brehanna Daniels was one of four people and the only woman to attend the NASCAR tryouts. Later on, she attended NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity National Combine in May.

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CHARLOTTE, NC – MAY 26: NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew National Combinee participant Brehanna Daniels speaks to the press during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 27, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images)

How has Daniels performed in the NASCAR scene?

Coming to her early life, Daniels studied at Norfolk State University. She first joined the NASCAR circus in 2017, along with Breanna O’Leary, being the first female pit crew members. During her career, she worked with Ray Black Jr, and later on with Cody Ware.

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In 2019, her big break in the NASCAR Cup Series came and hit her full force. To be precise, she became the first African-American woman to act as a pit crew at the historic Daytona 500 race. Apparently, Daniels took on the role of tire changer for the No. 51 Chevrolet for Rick Ware Racing.

Mar 7, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) leads driver Joey Gase (15) and driver Michael McDowell (34) during the Pennzoil 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina native confessed that there were people who supported her journey, and others who were critics. According to Daniels, there were some people who would think that she would not last long in the demanding sport. The 27-year-old acknowledged that there will be people out there who doubt her abilities. However, she has insisted that she is turning their scorn into motivation to better herself.

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Dhruv George

11449 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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