Life in the Fast Lane
By Debbie Cline
Meet Lenny Miller
Lenny’s father, Leonard W. Miller, is considered the country’s foremost authority on African American motorsport history. He was the first African American motorsport owner to have a team compete in the Indianapolis 500, and was inducted into the Black Athletes Hall of Fame in Manhattan in 1976.
From Hot Rods To Race Cars
Leonard battled with reluctant promoters and sponsors who were far from convinced there was a place for an African American team on the track. Against the odds, they soared to the pinnacle of motor racing at a blistering 190 miles per hour.
Leonard and Lenny later founded Miller Racing Group, and in 2005 became the first African American team owners to win a track championship in NASCAR history.
In 2010 they were on C-Span and it happened that a photographer who was watching the show realized who they were and thought his brother had been one of the photographers that covered the team back in the day. He wondered if his brother might still have old 16mm film in his basement.
This Is Where The Rubber Hit The Road
They found the original race car in 2011 in a private collection in Texas. In 2015, Volkswagen sponsored a complete restoration and unveiled the vehicle at U.S. headquarters during Black History Month in 2017.
Since then, they have filmed during a blizzard, interviewed Mario Andretti, lived in a 30’ RV camper for a week with a sound team of 4 guys to get 30 minutes of the perfect engine roar, slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot (you need to get this story directly from Lenny!), and have overcome countless obstacles.
They currently have their racing artifacts on exhibit at The Smithsonian and are putting the finishing touches on their submissions for the top film festivals around the world.
The Story Of Lenny And His Dad Has It All
Life is short. Live your lives, tell your stories and never stop growing.
Debbie is co-founder, chief of customer success at Buzzy Rocket and yellow lab lover. From LA to London, she is well known as an expert in creating that certain elusive magic that drives explosive growth at the intersection of companies, customers and digital. she’s been doing this at companies big and small for 25+ years. Her background includes executive level positions at both public companies and startups where she has proven over and over again that her passion, drive and results oriented perspective get it done.