NY Racing and Grambling State Spark Diversity Dialogue in NASCAR

Grambling State and the NY Racing team have found themselves in recent headlines due to the national reveal of the No. 44 Grambling car.
John Cohen (owner of NY Racing and Grambling State alum) linked with veteran driver Greg Biffle to race No. 44 at the Daytona 500 Feb. 20..
Since the big reveal on social media, everyone has shown a great deal of excitement for the partnership between NY Racing, GSU, and NASCAR. The sheer look and paint job alone for No. 44 had many fans baffled, confused, and some even intrigued. John Cohen represented his alma mater to the fullest by lacing a Chevy Camero with black and gold accents and official logos of Grambling in large print.
To catch non-NASCAR fans up to speed with the recent news, here is a quick timeline on the No. 44 Grambling car:
• On Feb. 14, NY Racing Twitter account releases images of No. 44, announcing Biffle as selected driver and upcoming participation in the NASCAR Cup Series events.
• On Feb. 17, Biffle races in the Bluegreen Vacations Duel 2 at Daytona, finishing in 13th place and qualifying the Grambling car into the last open slot for the Daytona 500.
• On Feb. 20, the infamous Daytona 500 kicked off, and Biffle finished in 36th place, despite troubles with a fuel pump midway through the race.
Although the Daytona 500 didn’t end the way Biffle and Cohen had planned, a much bigger goal was met within the standards of society inclusion. Representation matters, and it is more important than it has ever been before. With Cohen’s passion for racing and his love for his HBCU, he has manifested a way to merge both worlds. Hs said his goal was to not only include the colorways of his beloved HBCU, but to also have a notable figure in racing showcase the car on one of the biggest stages in NASCAR while creating history in the process.
The NY Racing owner embraces the changes in the middle of a time period where diversity in ownership in the sports world has sparked conversations. With public attention focused on changing the narrative of the lack of representation, NASCAR is just one sport of many to provide examples of why this is such a serious topic. Not only would people of color have more access to ownership of this degree, but the exposure of representation would also attract a more diverse audience to the sport of racing. Even with HBCUs being represented on the raceway, that alone will have people of color in tune with racing like never before.
Cohen has stated that this will not be the only race he and his racing team will participate in, further noting that there will be more HBCUs represented on race cars in the near future. Stillman College, Florida A&M, North Carolina A&T, and Norfolk State are already in branding development according to the Louisiana Illuminator.
Also, it is worth noting Cohen was one of four black team owners who raced at the Daytona 500, marking the most black owners in Daytona history. The other three owners were Michael Jordan with 23XI Racing, Brad Daugherty with JTG Daugherty, and Floyd Mayweather with The Money Team Racing.       

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