Legendary racing team Richard Petty Motorsports is reportedly speeding down the road to make connections between NASCAR and the African American community.
During three races this NASCAR season, the No. 43 car will feature the messages “Black Entrepreneur Initiative” and “The Lonely Entrepreneur,” the latter of which is a New York-based nonprofit that signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with the racing team last week.
Q City Metro reports that the partnership will provide 100,000 Black business owners free access to online tools to grow their businesses. On Sunday (May 2), the Lonely Entrepreneur and its Black Entrepreneur Initiative (BEI) made their NASCAR debut on the hood and rear side panels on Erik Jones’ No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro, which finished 25th in the Buschy McBusch Race 400 at Kansas City Speedway.
Michael Dermer, The Lonely Entrepreneur’s founder, said he also wants to provide business training to 1 million entrepreneurs worldwide, including 1,000 Black entrepreneurs starting immediately.
“We cannot change social and economic justice overnight, but we can empower Black men and women to be entrepreneurs today,” Dermer said in a statement, according to Q City Metro.
Richard Petty Motorsports said it would sponsor 4,300 Black business owners by the end of 2022.
NASCAR itself has been in the news over the past year with its support of former Richard Petty racer Bubba Wallace in blasting alleged racist threats, and its ban of confederate battle flags at their raceways.