Tia Norfleet — full name Shauntia Latrice Norfleet — has been presenting herself as an accomplished racer and the first African-American woman to race in NASCAR, The New York Times reports.
However, despite the media attention Norfleet has garnered, her accomplishments do not match the hype. Norfleet appeared in just one low-level sanctioned event last year. In that race, she completed one lap and pulled into the pit.
The event only required the individual racetrack’s permission … and not licensing from NASCAR. To race at a higher level, Norfleet must ask NASCAR’s approval but has never done so. Still, her website says she expects to compete in a full slate of races at the second-highest level.
“I am uncomfortable with Tia representing herself in the way that she has,” says Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR’s VP for public affairs.
Still, that hasn’t kept her from making public appearances and giving speeches celebrating her role as a NASCAR driver, though. Her story has appeared on television, major newspapers and websites. She also accepts donations on her website.