It's good to see this subject finally talked about. And we needn't look as far away as Spain to find this ugliness. Right here in the good old U.S. of A., the motorsports fans can watch NASCAR racing till the cows come home, and they will see nary a black driver in top competition.
At best, the fans might see one or two in the trucks or Busch series. In 2006, when Bill Lester qualified in the Craftsman (truck) series, he was the first black driver to qualify in NASCAR in 20 years.
Given the good-old-boy atmosphere of stock car racing, the scarcity of non-white faces is not surprising.
NASCAR knows it is way behind the curve here. It supposedly has a diversity program going, that will supposedly put more female, black, Latino and Asian drivers on the race tracks. But so far the results of the program are pretty sparse. The only "diverse" driver who gets the needed level of sponsorship support is Colombian-born Juan Montoya, who made it through the 2007 Nextel Cup chase and finished 20th in the national championship driver standings. Montoya has been hailed by CNN as NASCAR's bid to open itself up as a global sport. But Montoya did what he did only because he got the needed sponsorship financing.
In NASCAR, it's all about the $20 million a year that goes into engineering and racing a single stock car. Montoya managed to attract those millions. No black American driver is ever going to take the checkered flag in a Cup race unless enough corporations are willing to make that kind of investment into his racing. No matter how kick-ass a black driver is, he won't be moving up from the rear of the pack if he doesn't have a top team behind him and his car is low on engineering.
I've already written about good women drivers like Erin Crocker, who deserve the same break...and aren't getting it right now in NASCAR. -- Patricia Nell Warren.