AVONDALE, AZ — Toni Breidinger’s need for speed sparked at an early age. At nine years old, she began racing go-karts, and now at age 22, she's racing stock cars for a living.
“At Talladega, at Daytona, you’re going two hundred miles per hour, inches away from the wall, inches away from a car next to you, inches away from the car in front of you,” said Toni.
It’s a thrill she can’t get anywhere else. One that’s helped her recently make history in an already extraordinary rise.
In February, Toni became the first Arab American woman to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned event where she took the green flag in the ARCA Menards Series race at Daytona.
“When I found out I got that title, my first reaction was honestly disappointed, you know NASCAR’s been around for so long, the fact that nobody else was able to come up before me was very disappointing,” said Toni who is set to take to the starting line at Phoenix International Raceway Saturday in the number 25 Toyota Camry.
She’s now using her massive social media following for good. Furthering the conversation of diversity by motivating her millions of followers to blow past walls no one thought possible.
“I always say the track doesn’t know gender, the car doesn’t know gender, as soon as that helmet comes on, I’m a driver just like everyone else," said Toni.
Climbing the ranks of NASCAR won’t be easy but Toni hopes for a banner year in her career. All while inspiring others and sticking it to the doubters one lap at a time.
“Even outside of racing if you’re doing something you feel like isn’t traditionally what somebody that looks like you does, still go out there and do it, be the first one to break that barrier,” said Toni.