The number of Black competitive drivers in the history of competitive racing has not been substantially high, but those who have delved into the arena have excelled in a major way.
Wendell Oliver Scott was one of the first Black stock car drivers in NASCAR, and was the first Black man to win a race in the Grand National Series, which is NASCAR’s highest level. Lewis Hamilton was the first Black Formula One (F1) Grand Prix racing driver to win the F1 world drivers’ championship. “Bubba” Wallace Jr. is considered to be one of the most successful Black drivers in the history of NASCAR, although most people are more familiar with the most recent controversy surrounding an incident where a member of his racing team reported to NASCAR that a noose had been placed in Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway.
The accomplishments by those racers are tremendous in their respective fields of racing, but arguably, the one of the most successful drivers of all time in the sport of motorcycle drag racing, currently resides in Houston, Texas. He goes by the name of “Fast Eddie” Glaze.
Eddie Glaze, or “Fast Eddie” as he is most affectionately known, has won countless races, trophies and cash throughout his illustrious career. Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, on November 11, 1955 to the late George Glaze Sr. and Mrs. Gussie M. Glaze, “Fast Eddie” ended up moving to Houston’s historic Third Ward with his family and attended Stephen F. Austin High School. His love for motorcycles started in his early years, consistently riding until he got very good at it.
“Man, I started really riding bikes when I was around 7 years,” said Glaze. “I always loved bikes, and although the first bike I owned was a Honda 70 trail bike, my first opportunity to show I knew how to ride a bike came well before then.”
Glaze recalled going to a friend’s house who owned a bike and asking him if he could ride it. The friend told him that he was too little to ride the bike, but Glaze insisted that his friend start it up and give him the chance to prove himself. Glaze states that once his friend started the bike up, he rode it until it ran out of gas. That was the beginning of his overall passion to go further.
After moving to Texas from Louisiana, Glaze acquired a Kawasaki 650 bike at the age of 14. He eventually moved from Kawasaki bikes to Suzuki bikes because he wanted more horsepower and wanted to go faster, and he has remained loyal to riding Suzuki bikes ever since.
Glaze began participating in illegal street racing, behind the Astrodome on Almeda Rd. with several of his brothers and many of his friends. Those experiences allowed him to establish a name for himself in the world of street racing. Glaze was working as a truck driver at the time, but he started to realize that he could make money racing, so he began to take it more serious.
“I was probably around 15 years old in high school, the first time I raced for money,” said Glaze. “A guy bet me a $1 that he could beat me, and I thought it was a joke. So when I beat him he paid me and I told him that I thought he was only kidding. Then another guy came up to me and bet me $5 and I beat him. That made me want to take things to another level.”
After many years of illegal street racing, a White gentleman who worked for Sears & Roebuck approached him about the possibility of sponsoring him to race on a professional race track. With the backing of Sears & Roebuck, Glaze decided to enter the world of professional drag racing. He began receiving other sponsorships from various other companies along the way, such as Stubbs, Lucas Oil, Mickey Thompson and others.
At 62, Glaze continues to compete and dominant the sport in a major way and doesn’t have any plans to stop anytime soon. His sister, Nettie, serves as his manager and makes sure he stays on top of all of the business aspects of his racing endeavors.
Glaze lives by a specific creed and goal as it relates to drag racing, which is: Strength, Patience and Passion. He travels across the country, competing against the nation’s top racers in the sport and winning various trophies as he runs out of Division 4, The Good Guys. He also runs Pro ET, Super Comp, Top Gas, and he competes in the ADRL, National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Lucas Oil Texas Shootout and Bracket Racing Series.
When it comes to his legacy, Glaze states that everyone he competes with across the country calls him “The Legend” although he doesn’t look at himself that way. He says that many people, especially a lot of his White friends, doubted him because he was competing in an arena that was heavily saturated with over 90 percent of his competition being mostly all-White.
“I was one of the first Blacks out there competing with them,” said Glaze. “I won the first professional race I competed in on the NHRA circuit at the age of 19. I still have more to win. We can talk about my legacy once the good Lord says it’s time for me to shut it down.”