Skip to main content

Q&A With Toni Breidinger: Breaking Barriers, Outlook For ARCA Series, Partnership With 7-Eleven

Toni Breidinger getting ready for qualifying for the ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona Speedway.

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 18: Toni Breidinger, driver of the #25 Venturini Motorsports, getting ready for qualifying for the ARCA Menards Series Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona Speedway on February 18, 2022 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Blair Brown via Getty Images)

Toni Breidinger is off to a respectable start in the ARCA Series this season, sitting in sixth place through three events. However, she knows there’s a lot more work that has to be done.

With two races on the schedule for this May, the Dutch Boy 150 and General Tire 150, Breidinger has an excellent opportunity to rise toward the top of the leaderboard.

While there’s no doubt that Breidinger is spending a significant amount of time preparing for what could be a huge month, she’s also using some of her free time to showcase her skills as a gamer.

Breidinger, alongside actor Cristo Fernandez, has partnered with 7-Eleven to help bring gamers new ways to take their play to the next level. As part of this partnership, they’ll be going head-to-head in a Rocket League match on May 15.

We caught up with Toni Breidinger this week to discuss her partnership with 7-Eleven, her outlook for the rest of the ARCA Series, balancing other endeavors and more. 

Toni Breidinger competing in Rocket League match.

The Spun: Can you tell us about your partnership with 7-Eleven and why it’s a good fit for you?

Toni Breidinger: I’m really excited to partner with 7-Eleven on behalf of their ‘Boost your Rewards’ program. It’s going to give gamers a really great way to take their gameplay to the next level. I’m excited about that. Also, 7-Eleven is such a natural fit in my life. I’m always traveling to race tracks, and the first stop I make on the way to the race track is 7-Eleven. I’ll grab my favorite snacks and drinks. 7-Eleven has been part of my daily life, and now I get this really cool opportunity with them.

The Spun: What should people expect on May 15 for your head-to-head Rocket League match?

TB: Hopefully, they can see me win. Rocket League is such a fun game. I was able to apply some of my racing background into it, which was really fun. I think the match will be really close. Cristo [Fernandez] has some experience in soccer, so it’s cool we have both ends covered. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.

The Spun: There are still so many races left on the 2022 schedule, but what are your thoughts on the way the first three races played out?

TB: We kicked it off at Daytona, which is probably one of my favorite races of the year. There’s so much excitement going into it. Overall, I thought Daytona was pretty solid. After that, we raced at a short track which is entirely different. Our schedule is a bit chaotic in the sense that every track is so different. You’re never going to go into a track where you can apply the same things you learned from the previous one. But honestly, that’s what makes it so fun and challenging. So far, this season has been decent outside of my last race - I got in a wreck there. I’d say it has been a solid season, but I need to keep progressing.

The Spun: Do you have a favorite track in your young career?

TB: I would say a lot of these tracks are new to me. I’ve been to Kansas Speedway before, so I am a little comfortable going into it. Talladega Superspeedway was my favorite track, but we had a bad weekend there. I might have top take it off the list. Hopefully, Kansas will be my new one. I’m looking forward to that and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The Spun: You’re breaking barriers as the first Arab-American woman in NASCAR. Do you almost feel like there’s added pressure to make sure you open doors for others?

TB: I definitely do think there’s added pressure. When you’re the first one paving the way, I feel like if you don’t succeed you get worried you’ll affect other people from coming up. I want other girls to come up after me because I was able to pave the way for them. At the same time, I don’t take that pressure in a negative way. I think pressure is a privilege. It helps you push yourself. When you’re having a bad day on the track, you just have to keep that in the back of your mind. I don’t mind pressure at all.

The Spun: I know you got your foot in the door racing go-karts at a young age. Was there anyone in particular that really inspired you to pursue racing?

TB: Racing was honestly random for me. My father was driving down the highway on the way to work and he saw a sign for go-kart classes. He thought it’d be fun for me and my twin sister Annie to take those classes. We didn’t really have any motivation to race it prior to that idea. We both ended up loving it and wanted to keep doing it. Starting off, it was just a random thing I got into. It wasn’t like I had a specific inspiration as a kid.

The Spun: Of course, it’s not just about what you accomplish on the race track. You’re fairly active on social media. How has it been balancing your work on the track with your other endeavors?

TB: Social media is a big part of this day and age. You can’t expect to get brands and sponsors without a social media following, that’s just how it is. In general, I love social media. Even before I was racing professionally I loved it. I enjoy being on different platforms and interacting with fans. It’s important to balance it because there are positive aspects of it. However, there are negative comments on social media from time to time. The best way for me to balance it is by staying off social media during race day.

The Spun: What are your goals, both on and off the track, for this year?

TB: My biggest focus is on the ARCA Series. We have a full schedule, but in between I love to get into the fashion space. It’s fun having projects that are unrelated to racing because it allows me to spice things up a bit.

The Spun: Do you already have a favorite moment in your career?

TB: I’d say my first time racing at Daytona last year. Just that moment of going down the straightaway and reading the Daytona sign was a surreal experience. It’s just so surreal to be on that iconic track. I had so many nerves in my system.

Breidinger, 22, already has a large following on social media. At the moment, she has over 246,000 followers on Instagram.

Last year, Breidinger made history as the first Arab-American female drive to compete in a NASCAR national series. This year, she’s out to prove that she can be a star in the sport.

You can read more of our interviews with athletes or media stars here.