Little Known Black History Fact: Chase Austin

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  • Chase Austin, a 22 year-old African-American race car driver became the youngest driver to sign a driver-development contract in NASCAR when he was age 14. Austin started competing when he was 8 years old. He is now in line to be the third African-American driver to compete in the Indianapolis 500. He started in eleven NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series races, with four top-ten finishes.

    Austin has graced the track at six NASCAR Nationwide Series races. If Austin qualifies for the Indianapolis 500 next May, he will follow racing pioneer Willy T. Ribbs, who became the first black Indy driver in 1991.

    A native of Eudora, Kansas, Austin began driving with a go-kart at 8 years old. It was only ten years later that the young competitor would become the first black driver in history to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide Series oval track event at Memphis Motorsports Park. As early as age 13, Austin proved that he was a driving champion after winning the "Future Dirt Track World Championship."

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