*If you’re a racing fan, you’re more than likely familiar with such history makers as Willy T. Ribbs, Wendell Scott, Bill Lester, Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., Latrice ‘Tia’ Norfleet and Lewis Hamilton.
Unlike the aforementioned noted names, barrier breaker Melissa Harville-Lebron has not spent countless hours on the track behind the wheel, racking up laps. She’s literally taken a different course of action to steer the wheel and break into this male dominated sport, which lacks diversity in terms of both melanin and gender.
This mother of seven joins a highly exclusive club, becoming one of two Black women to enter into this sisterhood of actually owning a NASCAR team. The first was Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel, who is married to Max Siegel. The married couple has fielded cars for such drivers as Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr.
Unlike Siegel, the effervescent Harville-Lebron is the only Black female to make her mark in NASCAR, doing it solo, in terms of owning a team. Added to that, she is also fielding a Black and Hispanic driving team.
That’s a remarkable feat in and of itself. Growing up, the native New Yorker was not immersed into the subculture of racing. In fact, like Eva Gabor, who played Lisa, in the 1960s sitcom Green Acres, which still airs today, she too, was more accustomed to the big city life, as opposed to spending time at the tracks (or in the case of Lisa on the farm). This NASCAR pioneer life centered-around corporate America, music, fashion, ferries and the infamous New York subway system.
As Black History Month wind down and we gradually shift gears toward Women’s History Month, we are honored to have a two-part conversation with Melissa Lebron-Harville. The trendsetter is one of two Black women to every own a licensed NASCAR team.
In a candid, wide-ranging, two-part conversation, Lebron-Harville shares with us how a career in the music industry, a near death experience, where she was advised to get her financial house in order, and a gesture of love for two of her sons reluctantly drove her to the high-stakes, money-draining pastime.
To Tune In To Part One Of Our Black History Conversation:
To hear the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, on Friday, February 21 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Sunday, February 23 and Monday, February 24 at 12:00 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
To Tune In To Part Two Of Our Women’s History Conversation:
To hear the conversation, tune in to Auto Trends with JeffCars.com, on Friday, March 1 at 12:00 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Channel 141. Encore broadcasts can be heard on Sunday, March 3 and Monday, March 4 at 12:00 p.m. ET and 1:30 p.m. ET, respectively.
Cruise over to SiriusXM to find out more about free trials and how to listen in your car or on your smartphone.
About Jeff Fortson And JeffCars.com: Jeff Fortson is the host of SiriusXM’s Auto Trends with JeffCars.com. It is a weekly multicultural automotive show, which includes in-depth conversations with today’s influencers and pioneers. For air times, a new-vehicle pricing configurator, used car-buying tips, a car payment calculator, recall updates, and more, cruise over to JeffCars.com.