The previous few months have seen a growing number of Black celebrities becoming NASCAR team owners. In 2020, NBA legend Michael Jordan stated that he and NASCAR hero Denny Hamlin have teamed together to start a new racing team and recruited Bubba Wallace to be its driver.
Jordan’s move into NASCAR was followed by boxing legend Floyd Mayweather, who became an official NASCAR owner of The Money Team Racing. The Money Team Racing subsequently made its debut on the Daytona 500 speedway in February this year.
The latest Black celebrity eager on becoming a NASCAR team owner is an army veteran and entrepreneur, Phyllis Newhouse, according to Sports Business Journal. Newhouse, who has a net worth of $7 million, has apparently been in talks with numerous teams, track owners, and the governing body for months.
If the deal goes through, she would be among the first Black women investors in the history of NASCAR, following in the steps of Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel, who held the position of vice chairperson at Rev Racing.
Newhouse grew up as the youngest child in her family. She served in the U.S. Army on numerous postings. She specialized in National Security and formed the Cyber Espionage Task Force. She turned her focus to business despite being offered a senior-level post and became the creator of Xtreme Solutions in 2002. Within 18 months of setting up the cybersecurity firm, Newhouse was a 200-person company. It grew by at least 42 percent for eight straight years, branching out into the automotive, banking, and retail industries, according to Inc.
She also co-founded Athena Technology, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and ShoulderUp Technology Acquisition Corp., another SPAC led by industry veterans to carry out mergers, capital stock exchanges, asset acquisitions, stock purchases and reorganizations with one or more businesses in the technology and cybersecurity space, her website says.
Athena completed a $250 million IPO in March 2021, making it the only SPAC with an African American female CEO listed on the NYSE. According to her website, the company announced in July 2021 that it would take Heliogen, a concentrated solar power company, public in a $2 billion deal.