( ENSPIRE She Did That ) Melissa Harville-Lebron, First Black Woman NASCAR Team Owner
ENSPIRE Contributor: Djata DoumbouyaMotivation can come from a place of pride and astonishment of another person or movement. “Make a difference about something other than yourselves,” said prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison. Melissa Harville-Lebron has broken a barrier and made history for all the black women who have either doubted or limited themselves. We’ve seen black women playing sports, commentating, refereeing and some even receiving more recognition than men. It’s not every day we see a black woman owning a team, a Nascar team at that. Melissa’s hard work and accomplishments are motivating because she created a lane in an already male-dominated industry. Melissa is the first African American woman to own a race car team licensed by NASCAR. Harville-Lebron has always wanted to be an entrepreneur but she never thought she would be stepping into the field of auto racing. Not only is she the mother of three, she’s also raising her sibling’s four kids. She started her own music label, Coutra Music Group, Inc. while working for New York City’s Department of Corrections. After suffering from a serious asthma attack she launched her own entertainment company in 2014 called, W.M. Stone Enterprises Inc. Harville-Lebron got invited to a NASCAR experience and brought her sons along with her in order to discourage them from driving. She proceeded to do some research on black ownership in the race car industry and became inspired. Both of her sons were deeply interested in race car driving, so much that they are actually members of her team. She ended up watching them drive and being amazed herself. We are in amazement of how Melissa’s path worked out from her taking her sons to see Nascar for a purpose and now as owner of a Nascar team for another purpose. Harville-Lebron made sure to diversify her team and added Latino drivers. The team ran their first race on February 16, 2018, in the camping world truck series. Melissa Harville-Lebron said, “I want to use this platform I have to re-establish the brilliance of our culture as women… it will symbolize to me, my success. I don’t know what the future holds but I am ready for it!” Melissa’s PR Firm, Coutra Music Group PR Firm, recently announced E2 Northeast Motorsports has inked a deal with NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) team, Copp Motorsports, to field Florida-based driver, Scott Stenzel. This new opportunity allows Melissa’s team to reach a younger audience and expands its geographic reach of drivers. This gives others who may have an interest in Nascar to know that there is a place for them.
ABOUT E2 NORTHEAST MOTORSPORTS, INC.
E2 Northeast Motorsports, Inc. is a developmental race team based out of upstate New York, with interest in NASCAR’s Whelen All-American Series and Camping World Trucks divisions. The historic team is owned by entrepreneur, Melissa Harville-Lebron, who is the first female African-American licensed team owner of a top-tier Camping World Truck Series. Harville-Lebron is breaking barriers by filling the diversity gap within the organization. Her racing team is also the first ever to consist of siblings from two different ethnicities, hailing from the North East and under the age of 25. E2 Northeast Motorsports, Inc. consists of 6 drivers of various professional licensed levels. This team truly exemplifies diversity, that is sure to attract a younger, multicultural fan base.]]>