Shauntia Latrice “Tia” Norfleet is one of America’s most prominent female race car drivers. As the daughter of former NASCAR driver Bobby Norfleet, she had already shown an interest in the racing profession from the age of seven.
Tia says that she began competing in kart racing events at age 14, and by 24 she was already competing in entry-level Bandolero racing competitions. After that, Norfleet became the world’s first African-American driver to purchase a NASCAR racing license, but this is where things get a little freaky.
Erin Crocker began racing at just 7 years old and was winning Mini Sports competitions by the time she hit her first teen years. When Crocker transitioned into professional racing, her first race was the World of Outlaws. She was quickly noticed and after winning five races she earned a National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Outstanding Newcomer Award.
In 2006, she began racing full-time for NASCAR. Crocker has an impressive record which includes over 39 races in both stock car and truck races. Crocker is currently married to former auto racing crew chief Ray Evernham, who was her former boss and team owner. Needless to say, he had a major impact on her and her racing career. She has since retired from racing and became a broadcaster for SPEED in 2008.
Paige Decker, Claire’s sister, also joined NASCAR at about the same time. Decker was named a NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver in 2014. Prior to that, she became the first woman and rookie to win the TUNDRA Super Late Model Tour at the Golden Sands Speedway event. Although she fared a bit better than her sister at the whole NASCAR experience, her time in the sport was also short-lived and ended in the same year as well.
The two sisters were joined by their cousin, Natalie Decker, who also managed to get into the NASCAR races through their Drive for Diversity program. Natalie was the most successful one of the three family members and continues racing to this day.
Shannon McIntosh has an impressive career having secured herself a couple of impressive scores and victories. Her two best finishes were both in eighth place: one in the 2011 USF2000 National Championship and another one in the same series.
Outside of racing, McIntosh frequently writes for eBay Motors Blog and has recently been named “Someone to Watch” and a racing Up and Comer by the Tampa Bay Business Journal. We’re definitely looking to see more of what this talented and dedicated driver does with her career, both in terms of racing and in her business ventures. There’s no doubt in our minds that she’ll manage to impress us on both accounts.
There seems to be a recurring theme with female racing drivers that includes them leaving high-paying, respectable positions in-order to become down-and-dirty race car drivers. Tina Gordon (who is not related to legendary NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Robby Gordon), left her successful position as an insurance agency owner by selling the business in order to follow her passion and become a NASCAR race car driver.
Despite her previous success, this was completely new territory for the new racing driver, and she had to build her way up and lift herself up by her bootstraps. Just one year after joining NASCAR, she managed to finish in 20th place in the NASCAR All-Prof Series. The racer has made 16 starts so far and even finished in the top ten once.