Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway marked a historic moment for the sanctioning body as Tiffany Myrick oversaw the event as race director, becoming the first woman to serve in that capacity for a NASCAR national series.
A lifelong racing fan from Alabama, Myrick has worked for NASCAR since 2018, initially as a technical inspector which entailed leading pre- and post-race car inspection and being the flagwoman. In March 2021, she was elevated to the position of Senior Coordinator of Racing Operations and Event Management.
In May, Myrick was the race director for the ARCA Menards Series at Kansas Speedway, also making her the first female director for that series. The FS1 booth, whose play-by-play commentator Jamie Little is the first woman in such a position for major American racing, gave her a shout-out during the broadcast.
“If it wasn’t for all those brave women back in the fifties and sixties getting into the workforce, it was male predominant back then, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Mynick said in a March 2021 video posted by NASCAR to celebrate Women’s History Month. “Just remembering where we came from and knowing that we had so far left to go and just kind of helping pave the way for the future and girls growing up.
“I think that any woman trying to get into a male-dominated industry—NASCAR, for example, I was really nervous getting into this. I grew up around this sport, so I knew everything that I could about it until I got into it. The nerves coming in and just being a female and actually inspecting cars and stuff like that, it feels like this added pressure is out on you because of your gender.
“Don’t be afraid, because it’s natural, I think it’s common. Just try and be as confident as you can and don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not worth the time to reach and not worth it. You are worth it. I think one of my favourite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt is, ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’”
Myrick is not the only official to break barriers in NASCAR’s competition department in 2022. At the Cup level, Jusan Hamilton worked the season-opening Daytona 500 as the event’s first black race director. Hamilton also supervises the Racing Operations and Event Management branches as Senior Director and has prior experience in being a Xfinity race director.