Born Shauntia Latrice Norfleet
May 1, 1986 (age 30)
Suffolk, Virginia, United States
Shauntia Latrice "Tia" Norfleet (born May 1, 1986 in Suffolk, Virginia) is an American race car driver, she is the daughter of NASCAR driver Bobby Norfleet.
1 Personal life and career
3 Charitable work
Personal life and career
Born in Suffolk, Virginia in 1986, Norfleet's interest in racing began at the age of 7, when her father, NASCAR driver Bobby Norfleet, doubled the battery power of a Hot Wheels Barbie car to increase its speed. Norfleet's racing career began at age 14, when she began competing in kart racing events; she went on to a successful career in drag racing at the local and regional level, where she won 37 of 52 events she competed in.
In 2000 Norfleet switched to entry level spec racing competing in Bandolero cars, then moving to late model stock car racing on short tracks starting with the 2004 racing season; she became the first female African-American driver to acquire a NASCAR Late Model Series racing license.
Norfleet competed in local late model events at tracks near her Augusta, Georgia home, starting her Late Model career in 2004. She planned to compete in NASCAR national touring series competition starting in the summer of 2012, and is operating a grassroots funding initiative to finance her racing career; however she did not make it to the track in a major series in 2012.
In March 2013, a New York Times article reported that there were numerous inconsistencies in Norfleet's self-promotion efforts. They observe that she has only raced in one low level event, where she ran one lap before parking her car. She also has several criminal offenses on her record, and according to public records is actually 26 years old, not 24 as she has claimed; in addition, the NASCAR license that she has received, which she claimed was the first to be received by an African-American woman, is a kind that any driver who wishes to acquire is able to purchase. Suggesting that she is making an effort to subvert the sport's development process, NASCAR's vice president for public affairs has said, “I am uncomfortable with Tia representing herself in the way that she has.” Norfleet responded that the accusations were "a biased, smear campaign". Her father responded to the allegations by calling them a "witchhunt", by posting pictures of Tia's name on four separate licenses, and refuting some of the allegations. Tia confirmed that she did indeed have a criminal record, and that her only NASCAR event was indeed a "start and park", but also stated that she had never claimed to be a Nationwide driver.
Norfleet supports the Safe Teen Georgia Driving Academy program, providing driving instruction at Atlanta Motor Speedway on behalf of the group; in addition she is an ambassador for Safe America Driving.