NASCAR races can be an exciting to watch, but historically they haven’t been very inclusive of black culture or drivers. Yet with people like NASCAR drivers Denny Hamlin and company initiatives, visibility is becoming more tangible. In yet another new step, 4 HBCUs will be featured in the NSACAR season finale! Get the exciting full story from Rashad Milligan at Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
Four Historically Black Colleges and Universities, two from Mississippi and two from Tennessee, will be represented at the NASCAR regular season finale this weekend.
Denny Hamlin announced at Saturday’s Daytona Cup, his car will feature HBCU-themed paint. The phrase “shaping Black futures” will sit above one of the back tires with the logos of Jackson State, Mississippi Valley State, LeMoyne-Owen College and Tennessee State on the rear bumper.
“It’s about showing our support to these HBCU campuses because, ultimately, that’s how we make change, right?” Hamlin said in the FedEx announcement video.
Also in the video are Toyota racer Bubba Wallace, JSU athletic director Ashley Robinson, TSU basketball coach Penny Collins and ESPN personality Elle Duncan.
“FedEx has been supporting (HBCUs) for 20 years,” Robinson said in the video. “All the scholarships and all the things that they have been doing – endowed scholarships they’ve been doing at Jackson State University – have been very, very helpful. The continuing support continues to upgrade that education for students.”
In February, FedEx pledged to give a total of $5 million to the four HBCUs represented on the rear bumper in COVID-19 relief efforts.
“Hats off to FedEx for being able to pull this off,” Wallace said in the video. “Hopefully, it motivates a lot more people to tune into the sport, but just to be proud of the direction we’re heading in.”
Hamlin has clinched his spot for this year’s playoff series with 976 points, good enough for spot No. 14. Wallace is currently on the outside looking in, sitting six spots below the cutoff.