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How Antron Brown represents Black racers in motorsports

Antron Brown is dominating the world of motorsports

Antron Brown has always had the need for speed, whether it’s topping speeds over 330 mph, or when he was setting 100m dash speeds good enough to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Brown has pushed the limits in whatever he does, including in the predominately White sport of motorsports.

Brown spoke with rolling out about his career in motorsports.

How do you view Black representation in racing?

It’s very easy. When you go to drag race, you’ll see people from all different backgrounds racing, whether you’re Black, whether you’re Hispanic, or whether you’re Jamaican, whether you’re Dominican, whether you’re Haitian. It doesn’t make a difference. If you like it, you’re out there racing it. Making it to the pro level is just like anything else: You got to stay after it, and you got to be around it. When the opportunity comes, you gotta be ready to shine to get that shot. When you get that shot, you better not mess up because thousands of people want to do exactly what you’re doing. You just can’t work on a racetrack, but how well do you work off the racetrack for your partners? That’s the key.

In 2012, you were the first Black racer to win a U.S. Auto Racing Championship. How does an accomplishment like that make you feel?

It’s huge when you think about what you went through, what it took to get there, how hard you needed to work and the time and effort that you needed to put in. When you look back at it, sometimes you look and ask if it was worth it to get there to where you want to be as a world champion. You think about all the hurdles of some of the things that people told you “no,” times when things didn’t go your way, the times when you lost and you failed at something but you never quit. Then when you get there, you look back and say “Was it worth it?”

Yes, it was. It shows you how special it is because winning a championship is very hard to do. You got some people that’s been in the sport more years than I’ve ever raced, and they’ve never won a race or they could have won one or two races. You look back on our career right now, and we’ve won over 74 times. It’s been a time in our career. One of our motorsport PR people from Toyota told me this one time. He was like “Antron, you can add up all the people in every other form of motorsports, and just in your three years here, your percentage and your wins are more than all of them combined.” I was, like, wow, it’s pretty deep.

What should people do if they want to get involved in racing?

I tell them all the time, the first thing that you can do to get involved is for one just come out to races. You can watch stuff on TV, you can see things from afar, you could watch it on YouTube, or anywhere internet or social media — but that’s not like being there in person. If you get there in person, that’s how you get the opportunity because you’ll meet people — and life’s all about relationships. Everything in life is about relationships. You build relationships; you get to know people; and then that opens up the doors and gives you opportunities. Then, you have to figure out how to capitalize on that opportunity to put yourself and make yourself a part of it.

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