Grambling State Represents at the Daytona 500

Grambling State Represents at the Daytona 500

The #44 car is the first car to represent an HBCU in NASCAR history. Photos courtesy of NY Racing Team.

“Have Pride and you will never be disappointed.”

NY Racing Team, owned by Grambling State University (GSU) alum John Cohen, competed in the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 20th. Greg Biffle drove the #44 car, which was a Chevrolet Camaro wrapped in a Grambling paint scheme. The #44 car was the first car to represent an HBCU in NASCAR history and was sponsored by HBCU League Pass Plus, which is owned by Urban Edge Networks, Inc. The #44 was intentional. The number references the 44th President, Barack Obama; F1 driver Lewis Hamilton’s lucky number, and the jersey numbers of baseball Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Hank Aaron. The Thursday before the Daytona 500, Greg Biffle qualified for the Daytona 500 after he raced his way into 13th place in NASCAR’s second duel qualifying round.

At the Daytona 500, Greg Biffle finished in 36th place after a fuel pump went out 8 laps into the race. He was the first to leave the race and returned after the repair. However, he did not finish last. He finished ahead of Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Harrison Burton, and Ross Chastain. “Finished 36th after tackling a fuel pump issue early,” the NY Racing Team tweeted on Sunday. “Grambling State was built on Pride as Coach Eddie Robinson always expressed. Have Pride and you will never be disappointed. The NY Racing Team crew had a lot of Pride and they were determined to finish this Race!”

In an interview with GSU before the races, John Cohen laid out his intentions for representing his alma mater. “It’s all about representing HBCUs and especially Grambling in a sport that I love,” said Cohen. “I’ve been trying to bring racing to a wider audience since 2009. I hope that having a car that looks like ours with all the Grambling branding on it will help make that happen.” With four Black owners, the most ever competing in this year’s Daytona 500, there will be more opportunities for more diverse teams to compete in NASCAR in the very near future. 

To learn more about HBCU League Pass, visit their website. To learn more about Urban Edge Networks, visit their website.