A few clicks on the Web site of Black Entertainment Television leads viewers to a short Nascar tutorial filled with information about popular drivers, racetracks and salaries.

It may seem odd to find a sport so closely tied to white Southern men featured on a Web site devoted to African-American entertainment, but it represents Nascar’s latest attempt to build a following for minority drivers it hopes to develop into stars.

Nascar is behind a new reality television series on BET, “Changing Lanes,” that will make its debut at 8 on Wednesday night. A field of 30 minority drivers will be narrowed to 10, who will live together for a month as they compete on the track and prepare in the classroom for the chance to race in a high-profile event and ultimately succeed in Nascar.

The series is the brainchild of Max Siegel, a former music industry executive and global president of Dale Earnhardt Inc., who became involved with Nascar’s diversity effort in 2003 when the Hall of Fame football player Reggie White tried to start a minority-based race team. White died in 2004 before seeing his dream come true, but the effort to draw minorities has continued. Read more…

Back to News