Two females poised to make history servicing Rick Ware Racing’s Cup entry tonight at Daytona International Speedway

For tonight’s Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Rick Ware Racing (RWR) will make history when team members Brehanna Daniels and Breanna O’Leary leap over the pit wall to service the team’s No. 51 chartered Chevrolet.
Daniels and O’Leary will change tires on Ray Black Jr.’s No. 51 Chevrolet becoming the first two female over-the-wall pit crew members to service a vehicle in modern-era Cup Series competition.
Brehanna Daniels
Daniels will be making her debut in the sport’s pinnacle series at the World Center of Racing. Since last year, she has pitted in more than 25 NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series events. She has also provided her services in ARCA Racing Series competition.
Daniels, also a former Norfolk State University women’s basketball player is believed to be the first female African-American crew member to compete in a NASCAR national series event.
“It’s hard to believe I’ve only been changing tires for two years and now I’m here at the Monster Energy Series level,” said Daniels. “What I’m doing in NASCAR is so much bigger than me. It’s been so rewarding to be part of history while at the same time inspiring others to take on challenges they thought might not be possible.”
O’Leary will be making her third appearance in the Cup Series and second in 2018. In addition to Daytona, she changed tires for the No. 51 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet at Michigan International Speedway last month.
Off the track, Daniels and O’Leary are close friends.
The two are roommates and share an apartment in Charlotte, N.C. Additionally, they are the fifth and sixth female NASCAR Drive for Diversity crew members, respectively, to reach the sport’s highest level.
“The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is unlike any other series,” offered O’Leary. “There’s a certain energy and hustle and bustle – both in the garage and on pit road. But as a tire changer, the mindset is still the same. Five lug nuts on and five off.”
In 2016 both Daniels and O’Leary were recruited to the Drive for Diversity pit crew development program by longtime pit crew coach Phil Horton as part of a nationwide talent search conducted by NASCAR and Rev Racing, the program’s operational arm.
At the time, Daniels was preparing to graduate from Norfolk State and O’Leary was working in the strength and conditioning department at Alcorn State University after completing her career as an outfielder on the softball team.
Today, the athletes now split their training during the week between Rev Racing and the Xcalibur Pit School in Mooresville, N.C. before traveling to join their respective team on race weekends.
Team principal Rick Ware is proud to be the home for Daniels and O’Leary – and expects both to perform flawlessly under the Daytona lights Saturday night.
“I am excited to be a part of history with Breanna O’Leary and Brehanna Daniels pitting our No. 51 Chevrolet this weekend at Daytona,” sounded Ware. “RWR and our marketing partners are proud to support the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program and have two females on our pit crew.
“They are going to do a remarkable job!”
Daniels and O’Leary are among more than 50 graduates of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development program currently working in the NASCAR industry. Twenty-five are pitting in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series alone.
Saturday’s night Coke Zero Sugar 400 will be broadcasted live on Sat., July 7 at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC, the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
RWR PR

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