Jon Morgan Photography
Erik Moses loves a good challenge. The former CEO of the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission and president of the DC Defenders of the XFL was named president of the Nashville Superspeedway in August 2020, becoming the first Black track president in NASCAR history. The track in Lebanon, Tennessee, will host its first NASCAR Cup event in 37 years during Father’s Day weekend.
Moses’ great uncle, John Kenneth Lee, was one of the first five Black students to desegregate the University of North Carolina School of Law in 1951. Now Moses, 50, is making his own history, looking to fill the stands at his track and to create greater diversity at all levels of the sport. At a time when NASCAR’s popularity is falling, Moses says more Black, brown and female participants and fans may be a key to the sport’s viability.
“If you’re not growing,” he said, “you’re dying.”
Moses spoke with The Undefeated about why he likes racing, the possibility of hosting a historically Black college and university (HBCU) football game and what it means to be a pioneer in 2021.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What have you come to appreciate about auto racing?
“Everything. Many people try to argue that our drivers are not athletes, which is a foolish argument. All it takes is to get into a car one time to understand what it requires in terms of reflexes and hand-eye coordination. You realize these guys are going 150 mph with 39 other guys on the track, six inches apart on every side around you with a rearview mirror, no side mirrors and a guy in a tower with a pair of binoculars in your ear telling you where you can go and where you can’t go”.
Nashville Superspeedway president Erik Moses on diversity in his sport: “We have to tell those stories so that those who are inclined to believe the stereotypes because of lack of knowledge can counteract those assumptions with facts.”
JON MORGAN PHOTOGRAPHY