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Featured Image Credit: Toni Breidinger/Instagram
By Stewart Perrie
A young American woman has finally fulfilled her lifelong dream of being a part of the NASCAR National Serie.s.
But Toni Breidinger has not only achieved her vision of racing around the track on the biggest stage in the industry, she's also become a trailblazer.
The 21-year-old made her debut over the weekend at Daytona International Speedway and became the first Arab American female driver in the NASCAR series.
Dubbed 'the biggest race of [her] career', Toni knew Saturday's event was going to be monumental.
Judging from the Instagram post she uploaded after the race, it seems to have lived up to every expectation.
Breidinger wrote on her social media page: "Daytona Debut. My team and I set 2 goals to finish the race and stay out of trouble. Excited for the rest of the of the season."
Despite being just 21 years old, Toni has already been breaking and setting records.
She's a 19-time United States Auto Club winner and debuted in the Top 10 at Madison International speedway in ARCA Menards in 2018.
When she sat in a go-kart for the first time at nine years old, it sparked a fire in her soul and from then she knew that's what she wanted to do with her life.
"I really just knew. I've always had so much passion for it. I love the competition, the adrenaline rush. I'm hooked on it," she said. "When the helmet comes on and I'm racing, it's not about being a female driver anymore. I'm just like anyone else trying to get to the finish line.
Speaking to CNN, Toni said her passion for the industry grew from there and she's had her sights fixed on the prize.
Breidinger added: "Daytona has always been on my bucket list to race at. Every driver's dream is to race there one day. It's such a historic track. It's a step in the right direction to hopefully race in the Daytona 500 one day."
She's hoping that by becoming the first Arab American female racer at Daytona, she can break stereotypes and encourage people from all backgrounds to follow their passions.
"I'm honoured and excited to be the first, but I don't want to be the last. I hope I can pave the way for future female Arab drivers as well," she said.