Lambert on the track
From Left to Right: David Lambert, Pro Racer, Dr. James Logan, owner of Logan Racing, & Erica Abdullah Hill, co-owner of Strong Racing and Program Director for the Los Angeles Motorsports Institute. photo by Brian W. Carter
Local and national racing teams put a spotlight on African-Americans in motorsports and sponsorship opportunities.
By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer
Professional racing is a sport many do not associate with African-Americans. The motorsports world has remained largely dominated by Whites and other ethnicities. There have been efforts to include more diversity in auto-racing like NASCAR’s driver diversity program, but has left much to be desired. The few Black drivers and stock car teams that are in the auto racing circuit have failed to catch a spotlight.
Logan Racing is a Black-owned motorsports racing team started by Dr. James Logan over 20 years ago based in St. Louis, MO. He started racing in the 1970’s by racing quarter midget cars and eventually came to own a United States Auto Club (U.S.A.C.) Silver Crown Division Team. Logan is the first African-American to enter a car in the Indianapolis 500 and Indy Racing League.
In 2006, Logan along with the Audubon Company Club held an event in honor of Black racers from the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. Much like the Negro Baseball League, the Golden Glory Sweepstakes was the auto-racing equivalent. “Not very many people know about these heroes,” said Logan
Logan along with co-owner of Strong Racing, Erica Abdullah Hill and pro racer, David Lambert, are working towards increasing the awareness and sponsorship of Black motorsport athletes and racing teams.
“We’re on a mission to raise awareness and generate funding, generate sponsorships,” said Logan. “Auto racing is lucrative.” Logan feels that the Black community and potential Black sponsors are missing an opportunity to become a part of a very profitable endeavor.
“My goal is to carry racing to the next level…put everything under one umbrella at least for the foundation and then branch out,” said Logan. “We show two things, we show: unity and we show expertise…we can go forward and then, open this sport up.”
Hill, a businesswoman and manager, is co-owner, along with former NBA Star Derek Strong, of Strong Racing. They both own one of the first racially diverse teams in motorsports, are bringing more awareness of opportunities and careers to Black youth. Hill is the first Black woman to own a car racing team.
“I realized the lack of diversity and the brick wall all around, I think intentionally not to allow any sort of diversity [in motorsports],” said Hill. Together with Strong, she is making strides to garner more attention to not only the lack of African-American auto sport racers and teams, but to the sport in general. Hill is now in association with long standing, Logan Racing to begin bridging links with other Black racing teams.
“Individually, we’re weaker, but together, we’re much stronger because we all have individual and different tools,” said Hill. “You put them all together, we’re as powerful as Joe Gibbs or Dale Earnhardt.”
Lambert’s love of racing motorcycles started in the streets as a teenager and almost ended in a tragic accident. He was able to walk away from the accident intact but he wasn’t able to walk away from the sport in his heart. He began racing professionally in 1999 and has won numerous titles since. He’s been involved in a variety of divisions including Formula Xtreme, Supersport and AMA Superstock. Lambert has also worked in Marketing and Advertising with the Italy Company.
He decided to partner his pro racing career and Lambert Motorsports with Logan Racing and Hill. Lambert is now the developmental driver for Logan Racing’s Indy Car series. He will also be the first Black auto-athlete to racecars and motorcycles.
Lambert shared that the sport in the Black community is “out of sight, out of mind. You don’t see it, you don’t hear about it, you’re not going to think about it.” As one of a few Black racers, Lambert is also trying to get more attention on the sport.
“It’s an amazing family sport…I want to highlight it is a family sport,” said Hill. “Having businesses support this, it helps everyone involved, from the business owner to increasing sales, to exposing their product, to the consumer, to the driver—everyone wins.”
“There [are] countries backing some of these kids [racers]…they got the whole nation giving them support…so here, why can’t we get the Black community behind the driver and build a name,” said Lambert. “Instead of looking [at] basketball, football, thinking they’re going to have a career in college and make it to the pros, there are other things…[opportunities].”
“The business community needs to know that they don’t have to be racing enthusiasts, they don’t even have to go to the track, they can make tons of money by doing business with the racing community,” said Logan.
The racing community has been exclusive for a while, but like most things, change is coming. Change is coming in the form of more diversified men and women who love the art of racing cars and motorcycles. Logan Racing, Strong Racing and Lambert Motorsports are just the beginning of a new day in auto racing sports.
For more information or inquiries on Dr. Logan and Logan Racing, please visit the website at www.loganracing.com
For more information or inquiries on Erica Abdullah-Hill and Strong Racing, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or
For more information on David Lambert & Lambert Motorsports, you can reach him at email@example.com.