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Bill Lester

Bill Lester

Keynote Speaker: Author, Motivational Speaker & Former NASCAR Driver

Bill Lester Biography

Bill Lester is an author, keynote speaker, and a former NASCAR driver. He earned his B.S. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1984. Before becoming a professional race car driver, he spent 15 years working as a computer scientist and project manager in Silicon Valley for Hewlett-Packard. 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. Lester worked as a broadcast analyst for the Fox Sports South show, “Around the Track” and the NBC Sports show, “NASCAR America.” His memoir "Winning in Reverse: Defying the Odds and Achieving Dreams—The Bill Lester Story," which was published by Pegasus Books in February 2021, is the 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.

Bill Lester is a graduate of the Bill Gove Speech Workshop, which is an extensive, week-long public speaker and corporate presentation training program where he learned how to create vignettes and deliver his message in an impactful and entertaining way to become an effective keynote. He is a poised and professional speaker who been interviewed countless times throughout his career and has featured on CNN, NPR, GMA3, The New York Times, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, CTV News, Car and Driver Magazine, AutoWeek, Black Enterprise, Black News Channel, We Buy Black, Mass Live, Sports Business Daily, The Undefeated, Orlando Sentinel, The Baltimore Times, and many more. During his five seasons of participation in the NASCAR Truck Series, NASCAR featured Lester in a TV ad promoting the series on the Speed Channel. In 2003 and 2004, General Mills featured Lester on Honey Nut Cheerios collector edition cereal boxes. Lester appeared on the cover of Black Enterprise in April of 2004.

Bill Lester competed in NASCAR and IMSA, two of America’s most prestigious racing series. He won over $2 million in purse money, drove a total of 30,162 laps in competition, earned six podium finishes and one victory during his 10 full seasons. In 2006, Lester became the first African American driver in 20 years to compete in NASCAR’S premier Cup Series. It would be another 11 years before another African American driver, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, would compete again in the Cup ranks. Among Lester’s other credits are initial professional races in the SCCA Trans-Am Series and IMSA Series. In 1999, he won the CART African American Driver Development Program tryout and, as a result, successfully tested an Indy Lights car with Team Kool Green. In 2012, he earned a trip to the Rotax Grand Finals of international karting competition in Portimao, Portugal proudly representing Team USA. Lester “retired” shortly after, 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 has received various awards including: “Breaking New Frontiers” award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority in 2004; “Trailblazer in Motor Sports” award from the Rainbow/PUSH organization in 2004, “Jackie Robinson Award” from the Rainbow/PUSH organization in 2006; “Trailblazer Award” from RYSE Magazine in 2013; and the “Sam Lacy Pioneer Award” from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2013.

"Winning in Reverse: Defying the Odds and Achieving Dreams—The Bill Lester Story," tells the story of Lester’s love for racing, which eventually compelled him to take a huge risk, leaving a lucrative career as an engineer to pursue racing full time. Lester had a trifecta of odds against him: he was black, he was middle-aged, and he wasn’t a southerner. Lester rose above it all, as did his rankings, and he made history time and time again.

Acquiring the right set of values and attributes became fundamental to Bill Lester’s success. There were many pitfalls, heartaches, and lessons to be learned during his difficult journey. But Lester defied the odds and overcame adversity, discrimination, and racism, becoming a legend on the track. Lester’s life story resonates with those contemplating a career or lifestyle change, challenging social norms, or struggling against prejudice. His ability to overcome challenges and persevere in the face of adversity and is what makes him a compelling, motivational speaker and an inspiration to anyone who has the honor of listening to him speak.

Contact a speaker booking agent to check availability on Bill Lester and other top speakers and celebrities.

Bill Lester Videos

Bill Lester Pre-Race Interview | Return to NASCAR
Former NASCAR driver opens up about being 1 of only 7 black drivers
Winning In Reverse: Black NASCAR Driver Bill Lester Talks New Book

How do I book Bill Lester to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like Bill Lester for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for Bill Lester, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for Bill Lester or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book Bill Lester for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for Bill Lester, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book Bill Lester are $30,000 - $50,000 for live events and $10,000 - $20,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire Bill Lester, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does Bill Lester speak about?

Bill Lester is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Motorsports, Innovation, Diversity, Empowerment, Overcoming Adversity, Teamwork & Teambuilding, Authors, Leadership, Sports and Manufacturing.

Where does Bill Lester travel from?

Bill Lester generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for Bill Lester?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like Bill Lester for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Bill Lester for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host Bill Lester or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

If you’re looking for the best speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.


Bill Lester is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Motorsports, Innovation and Diversity. The estimated speaking fee range to book Bill Lester for live events is $30,000 - $50,000, and for virtual events $10,000 - $20,000. Bill Lester generally travels from Atlanta, GA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Kyle Petty, Steve Letarte and Andy Papathanassiou. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Bill Lester for an upcoming event.

Bill Lester Videos

Bill Lester Pre-Race Interview | Return to NASCAR
Former NASCAR driver opens up about being 1 of only 7 black drivers
Winning In Reverse: Black NASCAR Driver Bill Lester Talks New Book
Bill Lester talks about the racism he faced during his NASCAR career
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