While the world was very loudly suffering through the whole 2020 pandemic, we somehow missed the beginning of Toni Breidinger's very promising racing career.
So, let's get this talented young race car driver on our radar, stat!
Toni Breidinger: Introducing NASCAR's First Arab-American Female Driver
Toni Breidinger has known that car racing was her ideal sport since she was nine years old. Her father purchased go-karts for Toni and her twin sister Annie, and a dream was born.
You could technically say that Breidinger's racing career started at Sonoma Raceway in California. That's where the girls raced their go-karts in 2009. But, when she moved to North Carolina after graduating high school, things started to get serious.
In 2016, she nailed the championship in the USAC Speed2 Western Pavement Midget Series. In 2017, she raced late models alongside Hailey Deegan. She got all the right attention for all the right reasons, and in 2018, she was invited to compete part-time in the ARCA Menards Series with Venturini Motorsports.
Finding Her Way to the Top
Breidinger took the opportunity in 2019 to try a few different things. She and teammate Natalie Decker tried out for the W-Series, an all-female racing championship series. While she didn't make the final cut there, she continued racing late models with GMS Racing.
While 2020 was a bust for almost everyone, Toni Breidinger drove in eight races on the Carolina Pro Late Model Series. She piloted the No. 80 car for DLP Motorsports to four top-10 finishes and three top-5 finishes.
For 2021, Breidinger has signed with Young's Motorsports, driving the No. 82 Chevy Silverado in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as well as the No. 02 Chevrolet SS in the ARCA Menards Series.
Not many 21-year-old racers get to make history, but when Toni Breidinger drove the ARCA Menards Series at the Daytona International Speedway in February 2021, she became the first Arab-American female driver to compete in a NASCAR national series. She finished 18 out of 33 drivers, and was the highest-placing female driver in the race.
She followed this strong performance up with a top-12 finish in the ARCA series race at Talladega in April 2021. Persistence is key for a young racing driver, and Toni Breidinger had demonstrated that she has plenty of that attribute.
Interestingly enough, Toni Breidinger has opened up the world of NASCAR sponsorships to more "feminine"-oriented sponsors, including Hair Club and Huda Beauty. Coming from both German and Lebanese parents, Breidinger has done some serious modeling on the side, including becoming a brand ambassador for Kim Kardashian's SKIM bodywear brand.
Looking to the future, Toni Breidinger has her eyes on driving in the NASCAR Cup Series someday. Given her current performance records and clean, no-nonsense driving style, that very well may be in the cards.
Go get 'em, Toni! Drive it like you mean it. We'll look forward to cheering on your Cup Series debut before too long.
Enjoy all things sports?
Don't miss a story! Sign up for daily stories delivered to your inbox.