Toni Breidinger Will Become NASCAR's First Arab American Female Driver with Daytona Debut
"Daytona is going to be the biggest race of my career, but I'm ready for it," Toni Breidinger said
Toni Breidinger will become the first Arab American female driver to participate in a NASCAR national series.
The 21-year-old race car driver will make her debut in the 2021 stock car competition ARCA Menards Series and NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series, which began at Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Saturday, the racing organization said in a release.
"I'm honored and excited to be the first, but i don't want to be the last," Breidinger told CNN. "I hope I can pave the way for future female Arab drivers as well."
"Daytona has always been on my bucket list to race at. Every driver's dream is to race there one day," she added. "It's such a historic track. It's a step in the right direction to hopefully race in the Daytona 500 one day."
Breidinger, who is part of the racing team Young's Motorsports, said in the release that Daytona is the "biggest race" of her career.
"Daytona is going to be the biggest race of my career, but I'm ready for it," said the California native, who is of Lebanese descent. "It's going to be a competitive race, but I know that the Young's Motorsports team will prepare me a fast race car and we can contend for a top-10 finish. That is our goal, a top-10 finish."
Three other women, Brehanna Daniels, Breanna O'Leary and Dalanda Ouendeno, will also be making NASCAR history at Daytona this year.
RELATED: Brehanna Daniels Is Making History as NASCAR's First Black Female Tire Changer
The trio are all graduates of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, an initiative by the organization to create diverse and inclusive pit crew teams. With the help of this program, Daniels, 27, became the first Black woman to be a NASCAR tire changer.
Both O'Leary, 27, and Daniels became the first female pit crew members to go over the wall for the same team in a NASCAR Cup Series race in 2018, and in February that same year, the two became the first female NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduates to pit in the Daytona 500. This Sunday, Ouendeno will join them as the first foreign-born graduate of the program to pit the Daytona 500.
"Making history, it means a lot, and I feel like God couldn't have picked anybody else better to do the job," Daniels told PEOPLE earlier this week. "It takes a strong person to be in the position that I'm in to make change. And definitely all the other women that looked like me."