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The Importance of Diversity to Business Success With Travis Shumake, the First LGBTQ+ Driver for NHRA

By Jeremy Weisz posted 02-07-2022 04:00 AM


Travis Shumake Travis Shumake is a Licensed NHRA Funny Car and Super Comp Dragster Driver who is skilled in community relations, brand representation, and public speaking. Travis is the fastest LGBTQ+ motorsports driver in the world and the first openly gay racer licensed by the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), which is considered one of the largest motorsports sanctioning bodies across the globe. Travis grew up in the drag racing world as the son of the late Funny Car champion, Tripp Shumake, and is an LGBTQ+ activist and a nonprofit fundraiser.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Travis Shumake shares the story of where his passion for racing came from
  • How did growing up in a competitive racing environment influence Travis?
  • Travis talks about what motivated him to focus on his passion and overcome his struggles
  • Travis’ experience becoming the first openly gay NHRA racer
  • Why asking questions is the best way leaders can harness power, influence, and support from others
  • Travis talks about what it feels like behind the wheel when he’s driving 319 miles per hour
  • Key ways to deal with resistance
  • Travis’ message to potential sponsors

In this episode…

Are you in an underrepresented community and are looking to make a mark in your industry? What can you learn from other communities working together to drive success and influence others?

Travis Shumake says that being inclusive is one of the most important components of business success in any field. As the first openly gay NHRA racer, he shares his story to inspire and encourage leaders and businesses to start working with more diverse people. Travis says success is not complicated — you only need to be open-minded.

In this episode of Level Up, Nick Araco sits down with Travis Shumake, the fastest LGBTQ+ motorsports driver on the planet, to talk about diversity and business. Travis discusses his experience as the first openly gay NHRA racer, the importance of asking questions as a leader, and how he deals with resistance. Stay tuned.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by AchieveNEXT, subscription-based peer advisory networks for emerging and C-Suite leaders from across North America, and includes The CFO Alliance and The CHRO Alliance.

Join the Network  that has connected more than 8,000 Modern Finance and HR leaders representing middle and emerging enterprises from diverse industries and markets.

If you are an HR or financial leader with a need to connect to your peers and share ideas while learning best practices and market trends, visit us on the web at or check out our blog for more resources on how to take the next step in your journey.