Hayden Swank is an African American race car driver who aspires to compete in NASCAR. On July 22, 2001, he was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina to Jennifer Swank, a medical billing specialist, and Bob Swank, a high school football coach.
Swank showed an early interest in race car driving. At the age of three, he became acquainted with NASCAR drivers, including their vehicle make, number, and team. Hayden began quarter-midget racing at the age of seven, winning his first ten races. He progressed to Bandoleros, a spec-series racer designed for drivers as young as eight years old, and won six of his first seven races.
Swank’s family purchased a 1990 Nervo Coggins in 200. Swank was scheduled to appear in “Race Ready” in March 2009, but her car’s brakes failed and she crashed into a wall. Swank joined the North Georgia Quarter Midget Association, which is based at The Bill Thomas Raceway inside the Cumming Fairgrounds in Cumming, Georgia, despite the accident.
Swank competed in his first Bandolero race on July 25, 2013. In 2014, he competed in the Beginner Bandolero, finishing first in the 20-lap feature. He also took first place in the Bandit class at the Bandolero National Championship. Swank received the David Ragan Award for the 2015 season, and he won the Bandit class at the Bandolero National Championship at the 17th Annual zMax Micro-Lubricant Bandolero. Swank finished second in the Thunder Outlaw Race in 2015.
Swank joined Rev Racing as a youth driver for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Development Program in 2018, which was established in 2004 to develop and train ethnically diverse and female drivers on and off the track. Hayden Swank is a business student at the University of Georgia who has given interviews about his experiences as an African American race car driver in a predominantly white field, as well as overcoming financial obstacles to continue racing.
Swank was sponsored by Overtime and Old Spice, which he said was a huge help given the sport’s financial costs. He continues to express his gratitude to his racing team and how it inspires him to pursue his dream. Hayden Swank’s impact on the sport is significant and long-lasting precisely because of the sport’s racial makeup and history, as well as the racial tensions he has experienced.