Bill Lester is an author, keynote speaker, and a former NASCAR driver. Bill Lester holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He has raced in the SCCA Trans-Am Series, IMSA Series, NASCAR Truck series and is one of only three African American drivers to ever race in NASCAR’S premier Cup Series. In 2003 and 2004, General Mills featured Lester on Honey Nut Cheerios collector edition cereal boxes.
Lester’s TV work began in 2003 with a two-year stint as a broadcast analyst for the Fox Sports South show “Around the Track”. In 2014, he also worked as a Broadcast Analyst for the NBC Sports show “NASCAR America.”
Bill Lester retired from professional racing in 2012, but he made a triumphant return in March of 2021 when at the age of 60 years old, he raced in NASCAR’s Truck Series at the Atlanta Motor speedway to support diversity efforts within NASCAR and promote his memoir. Bill Lester’s memoir, Winning in Reverse: Defying the Odds and Achieving Dreams—The Bill Lester Story was published by Pegasus Books in February 2021 and has been distributed by Simon and Schuster. It is the amazing and dramatic story of one of the most well-known NASCAR drivers in history—and a pioneer whose determination and spirit has paved the way for a new generation of racers.
Winning in Reverse tells the story of Bill Lester whose love for racing eventually compelled him to quit his job as an engineer to pursue racing full time. Bill still had a trifecta of odds against him: he was black, he was middle-aged, and he wasn’t a southerner. Bill Lester rose above it all, as did his rankings, and he made history time and time again, becoming the first African American to race in NASCAR’s Busch Series, the first to participate in the Nextel Cup and the first to win a Pole Position start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
Bill Lester’s life story resonates with those contemplating a career or lifestyle change, challenging social norms, or struggling against prejudice or bigotry. His ability to persevere in the face of adversity is what make him a compelling speaker for the ages. Bill Lester’s memoir has received rave reviews and currently sits on Amazon at 4.8 out of 5 stars.
He has received multiple awards, among them the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Trailblazer Award from RYSE Magazine.