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I AM Athlete Podcast

Female Pit Crew Members Making Their Mark | I AM NASCAR with BRANDON MARSHALL & MORE



Dalanda Ouendeno, Breanna O’leary and Brehanna Daniels join Brandon Marshall, Channing Crowder and Dion “Rocko” Williams on this week’s episode of I Am Nascar. These women are the first wave of female pit crew members in Nascar. Channing opens up the conversation by asking the women if it took time for the men in the pit crew to get adjusted to seeing women do the job beside them. Breanna answers by saying that she always looked at herself as a pit crew member since the beginning. She wanted to seize the opportunity that was presented to her. She realized that organizations can’t grow when there is no diversity and inclusion. Brehanna adds that without the help of the Nascar Drive for Diversity Program, they wouldn’t be in this position.

The women begin to tell their individual stories on how they were introduced into the sport and how they became a part of the pit crew. Brehanna talks about the tryout and mentioned how Breanna was also there with her. She explains how they were the only girls that were focused during the tryout, and Brehanna knew they had a shot at the job because of that. There were more than twenty girls at the try out, and only ten were going to get picked to come back. After the tryout, Brehanna was heading home on a plane and received a call from the coach. The coach explained how he really shouldn’t be telling her this news right now but couldn’t wait while extending the invitation for her to come back and be a professional pit crew member.

Brehanna shifts the conversation to talk about the fellow men that she works with in the pit crew. She says the “guys be hating”. She continues to say that a lot of the guys can’t stand that they can do the job just as good as they can. Brandon asks Dalanda why she ended up picking West Virginia to play soccer with all the different offers she had on the table. Dalanda says how big their soccer program is and they had top of the line facilities. Dalanda ended up transferring to Miami because she felt it was time to try it out.

Channing asks if the male pit crew members get jealous when the cameras are on the female pit crew members. Brehanna quickly answers and talks about how common it is for them to get jealous. Breanna mentions that “we didn’t ask for this”, referring to the cameras and the attention that the media brings. Breanna explains how difficult it is for them just trying to find a bathroom. She explains how they usually just “hold it” until the end of the race because it is very difficult with their suits. The group starts to laugh together at this while Brehanna explains how disgusting the porter potties are and what she will typically see in the morning if she decides to use one.

Brehanna talks about how she lost her mom to breast cancer when she was in high school. She would spend a lot of time doing her everyday activities around her mom at the house so she can be close to her. While doing her homework one night, she heard a difference in her mom’s breathing and it concerned her. Brehanna ended up hearing her mom take her last breath. She talks about how she uses her mom’s passing as motivation because her mom always believed in her and knew she would do something special in life. Brehanna says her mom’s message to the group would be to keep spreading positivity, you guys are doing a great job. She adds by saying her mom would tell her how proud she is.

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