Earlier this year, Regina Sirvent made history as the first woman to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned race in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, setting the stage for others to join her.

“I’m very honored to be the first woman there. But hopefully, I won’t be the last,” she tells mitú.

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The 20-year-old race car driver is a true trailblazer. She became the first woman to secure a win in the NASCAR Mexico Truck Series—Kotex, Musica VIP, and Grupo Firme, a Regional Mexican music band also back her. 

I’m very excited and looking forward [to] the things we can do as a team. With Kotex, with Grupo Firme, with music VIP, with the whole Gutierrez family, I’m sure we can,” she says. “We can keep opening doors together, push more Hispanics to fulfill their dreams, and, of course, excited to be a part of the NASCAR for Diversity and Rev Racing.” 

Adding, “We just had our first race. We did really well and learned a lot. So hopefully, I can become the first Latina to win in the series now.

Aside from her accolades, the public loves her. They voted her into the 2024 NASCAR Mexico Series race at the Coliseum. 

But for Sirvent, racing is more than a sport; it’s her destiny. Something she carries with her since before she was born. 

Image courtesy of NASCAR.

Regina Sirvent’s love for racing is deeply rooted in her family’s history with the sport 

They say, “Lo que se hereda no se hurta” (“what you inherit, they cannot steal from you”), and Sirvent is living proof. The Mexico City native’s love for racing goes back several generations to her grandfather, a rally driver in Mexico in the 1970s. 

I always grew up with the love [for] the sport. My dad wanted to be a racecar driver, but he didn’t have the opportunity,” she says. “I remember, when I was younger, I would sit on his legs and pretend I was driving.”

Even Sirvent’s dolls got a taste of being driven around before she became a legend. “I would play with my dolls and play with the cars.”

Then, when she was nine years old, her first go-karting session ignited her passion. 

“I had the opportunity to jump in a go-kart, [which is] more like a hobby or a weekend thing with my family. After I tried it, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I really want to work on this. I want to do this for a living.’”

With the full support of her family, she furthered her passion. At 14, she raced in the V6 Truck Mexico series, where she turned her new-found passion into a profession.

Image courtesy of NASCAR.

Sirvent faced frustrations in the initial stages of her career in Mexico

Being a woman on the racetracks in Mexico wasn’t always easy for Sirvent. As she proved her skills on the track, she faced many challenges, but her mom encouraged her to fight for her dreams and break stereotypes.

​​“I remember my very first truck race. It was a disaster. I jumped straight from karting to the trucks, and I was super nervous because I was the youngest one, the only female there,” she says.

However, she claims she is her greatest “enemy” when pushing herself to be the best she can be, something her family has helped her overcome. “My mom said, ‘The first thing is [to] try. It doesn’t matter if you don’t do great. The first step is trying. Then learn from your mistakes, and then you’ll do better the next race.’ She pushed me to keep going.”

Her mother also encouraged her to continue trying after her initial races, which led her to win the 2020 Trucks Mexico Series.

Image courtesy of NASCAR.

As part of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, Regina Sirvent hopes to show Latinas they can achieve their dreams

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program was created in 2004 to develop and train top drivers from diverse backgrounds and experiences, both on and off the track. Rev Racing, which operates the program, brings together championship-caliber executives, competition staff, and equipment in a unique academy-style environment. The team owned by Max and Jennifer Siegel is based in Concord, N.C.

Since the program’s inception, several graduates have moved on to compete at the national series level, achieving important milestones. Kyle Larson, Bubba Wallace, and Daniel Suárez are currently in the NASCAR Cup Series, and all three have left their mark in history books.

Suárez made history in 2022, becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win a race in the NASCAR Cup Series. A trailblazer in NASCAR, Suárez also made his mark in the sport when he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2016. In 2023, Suárez completed his third season driving for Trackhouse Racing, a team owned by Justin Marks and Pitbull.

You can find more information on driver eligibility here.

Credit: Getty Images.

Finally, Sirvent’s best advice for those looking to have a career in NASCAR is to try

“Don’t be afraid to try and not do good the first time because that’s what I did. I took that fear of, ‘what if I don’t do good and try,’ and that’s what has taken me through all the years, moving forward,” Sirvent concluded. “Sometimes, trying something and not doing good is scary, but who cares? Try it for yourself. And if it doesn’t work the first time, you’ll have a second chance. The important thing is to keep learning.”

While Sirvent continues the competition, she hopes her story will inspire other Latinos to keep chasing their dreams.

I have always said that if you can see it, you can achieve it. So I want to be that face that [other Latinos] can rely on and identify with, and hopefully, we can push them,” she says. 

Continuing, “NASCAR is not only about race car drivers. We need engineers, mechanics, social media people. It’s a whole world; hopefully, we can bring more people in and motivate them to do whatever they want.”