Ryan Gifford Records Revolution Racing’s Top Iowa Speedway Finish

NEWTON, Iowa (May 21, 2011) – Darrell Wallace Jr. slipped only one spot in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points standing despite finishing ninth Saturday in the Pork “Be Inspired” 175 Saturday.  Race winner Brett Moffitt took over the top spot now leading Wallace and his U.S. Army Toyota Camry by one point.

Teammate Ryan Gifford fought hard down the stretch of the 175-lap race in his Toyota Racing Development Toyota Camry, making several impressive passes in the final two laps to come home sixth, three-wide across the line and inches behind a top-five finish.

Sergio Pena, driving the Revolution Racing Freightliner Toyota Camry and Michael Cherry, driving the NASCAR’s Fueling Your Dreams Toyota Camry, each suffered cut tires early in the race and finished 29th and 40th respectively.

[callout_left]“Our TRD Camry was really strong and I’m happy with a sixth-place finish.  We’ve had terrible luck this season and we’re better than where we sit in points, but we avoided mistakes tonight and didn’t hit anything.  If we keep running races like this the wins will come and we’ll get ourselves back in contention for the championship” – Ryan Gifford[/callout_left]Gifford improved to 11th in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East points while Pena fell four spots to sixth.  Cherry took a big hit falling to 19th from his previous 11th-place position.

“We had a pretty good car all night, but we just didn’t have anything for the leaders,” Gifford said.  “Our TRD Camry was really strong and I’m happy with a sixth-place finish.  We’ve had terrible luck this season and we’re better than where we sit in points, but we avoided mistakes tonight and didn’t hit anything.  If we keep running races like this the wins will come and we’ll get ourselves back in contention for the championship.”

“This wasn’t our best race but we didn’t hurt ourselves too badly,” Wallace said.  “We lost a few spots on pit road with an illegal fueling issue when the gas can fell, but it didn’t hurt us too much.  We didn’t have the car to beat tonight and wouldn’t have had much for Moffitt even if we had stayed up front.  We’re still right there with Moffitt for the championship and with eight races left anything can happen.  We had to fight hard for a top-10 tonight, and it was typical of a hard-fought U.S. Army effort.  There were a lot of Army personnel at the race and I’m proud of the fact that we didn’t give up and we gave them a good show.”

The Pork “Be Inspired” 175 can be seen on a taped-delayed basis on SPEED June 2 at 6 p.m.

NASCAR teaches the drive for success (Charlotte Observer)

The monotony of the school week was broken Monday when students at Vance High School were greeted by racecars, drivers and NASCAR representatives.

The NASCAR 2011 Fueling Your Dreams Tour made a pit stop at the school to teach students about opportunities for success in the motorsports industry.

About 200 juniors and seniors at Vance spent the morning learning about the motorsports industry by listening to a presentation, talking to drivers, playing on racecar simulators and viewing the No. 6 Army racecar.[callout_right]There are so many opportunities out there for students. It may not be right in front of them, so (the event) is helping to plant the seed[/callout_right]

“There are so many opportunities out there for students. It may not be right in front of them, so (the event) is helping to plant the seed,” said Alejandra Diaz-Calderon, NASCAR account executive in diversity affairs.

This is the Fueling Your Dreams Tour’s second year, in which it is visiting more than 20 schools and wrapping up in the Charlotte area, Diaz-Calderon said.

“The purpose is to expose young people to motorsports,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “But the bigger message is to encourage high school students to stay in school and continue on the path to success.”

A part of the Fueling Your Dreams Tour, the NASCAR Fan Experience High School Outreach program is tailored to fit each school’s curriculum and teaches students about opportunities in the motorsports industry and informs them of available internships, mentorships and scholarships sponsored by NASCAR.

The event helps to identify students interested in becoming race-car drivers and provides them the tools to meet their goals. The NASCAR program is also used as a reward for excelling students.

This year, NASCAR partnered with Revolution Racing(now rev Racing) and the U.S. Army to put on the presentation.

Students were introduced to minority drivers Darrell Wallace Jr., 17, of Concord and Mackena Bell, 24, of Carson City, Nev.

[callout_left]“We just want to talk to young teens about what it means to be a driver,” said Wallace.[/callout_left]Both racers are part of the Revolution Racing(now Rev Racing) Drive For Diversity program, a development initiative for minority and female drivers and crew members. The two also recently finished filming the BET reality television show “Changing Lanes,” which will premier Sept.1.

“We just want to talk to young teens about what it means to be a driver,” said Wallace.

Wallace began racing at age 9 and has won multiple awards throughout his career, including Rookie of the Year honors in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He also won his first start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on March 27, 2010, becoming the youngest winner and the first African-American to win in series history.

The Concord native’s advice to students hoping to enter the motorsports industry is to listen to their peers, stay focused and stick to their goals.

As for breaking into the industry, Bell said young minorities “have to have a tough skin, because people are always trying to put you down.”

She said it is especially hard to be female in a male-dominated sport. Bell’s career success includes the title of Legends division Rookie of the Year at Champion Speedway in 2005, making her the youngest driver and the only female to win in track history.

“I am fortunate enough to race with this team and show the opportunities involved in this sport,” said Bell.

Her advice to those students hoping to go into motorsports is to stay in school and surround themselves with positive, supportive individuals.

For Vance High School Spanish teacher Rick Whitmore, this is the second year his class has participated.

“My students need role models, and I hope they see that today,” said Whitmore.

One of Whitmore’s students, Uju Nwador, a junior, said she watches NASCAR occasionally, but at the event she just wanted to have fun.

The Fueling Your Dreams Tour finished the week at Garinger, McLeod Center and West Charlotte high schools.

“I hope they come away with the understanding and value of a good education and the skills (as to) how they can apply it,” said Jadotte.

Brittany Penland is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Brittany? Email her at penland.brittany@gmail.com.

Revolution Racing Takes Top Two Spots in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East to Iowa Speedway

NEWTON, Iowa (May 19, 2011) – Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Peña take their Toyota Camry’s and the goal of protecting the top two spots in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East standings respectively into Iowa Speedway for the Pork “Be Inspired” 175 Saturday, while Revolution Racing teammates Michael Cherry and Ryan Gifford come into the race with plans to improve their 11th- and 12th-place point positions.

Wallace, driving the No. 6 U.S. Army Toyota Camry and the winner of the last race at Richmond International Raceway, leads Peña and his No. 4 Freightliner Toyota Camry by 26 points. Both Revolution Racing drivers have one win this season. Wallace has captured three wins in 13 NASCAR K&N Series East starts over two seasons.

Cherry, in his first full season of NASCAR K&N Pro Series competition is coming off an impressive seventh-place finish at Richmond International Raceway two weeks ago. He started his NASCAR’s Fueling Your Dreams Toyota Camry 16th and patiently worked his way to his first top-10 of the season and third in six career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts.

Gifford and his No. 02 Toyota Racing Development Toyota Camry hope to improve upon a 31st-place finish at Richmond. It marked Gifford’s lowest race result in 13 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts for Revolution Racing. His aim is to use Iowa to return to the form that led to top-five finishes in 40 percent of his starts last season.

[callout_left]We are only 25 percent into our season so we have a lot of racing to do, but with the reliability of our engines from the students at NASCAR Technical Institute and the overall performance of our Toyota Camry’s we don’t see any reason we can’t continue to excel.[/callout_left]The Pork “Be Inspired” 175 at the .875-mile Iowa Speedway will bring together the best teams and cars from both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West. At least 60 cars are expected to attempt to qualify for the 40 starting positions.

Last year Wallace was Revolution Racing’s highest finishing driver at Iowa, coming home third. The defending winner of the race is Max Gresham.

Despite the standing of Cherry and Gifford outside the top-10 in driver points, having all four drivers inside the top 12 is a major accomplishment for the second-year program.

“Have four cars in the top 12 of a series as competitive as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is a major testament to our drivers and crew members that support them,” said competition director Andy Santerre. “We are only 25 percent into our season so we have a lot of racing to do, but with the reliability of our engines from the students at NASCAR Technical Institute and the overall performance of our Toyota Camry’s we don’t see any reason we can’t continue to excel.”

“We have four drivers all highly motivated to win and make a name in NASCAR, so the friendly internal competition just to be the highest finishing driver in the company is healthy. Whoever wins that battle is usually also contending for a race win.”

Practice, qualifying and the race all take place Saturday. The race is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CT. It can be heard live at NASCARhometracks.com Radio, Live and can be seen on a taped-delayed basis on SPEED June 2 at 6 p.m. ET.

Fueling Your Dreams Tour under way for 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR announced Monday the 2011 Fueling Your Dreams Tour, a creative and multifaceted program whose aim is to identify talented drivers and provide them with the tools and opportunities to fulfill their dreams of becoming race car drivers.

Additionally, Fueling Your Dreams introduces a cross-section of young fans to NASCAR through resources, tools, experiential engagement and career opportunities within motorsports to help develop the next generation of motorsports executives.

“The Fueling Your Dreams Tour is an innovative, hands-on initiative that brings core elements of NASCAR to communities and new audiences across the country,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president, public affairs and multicultural development.

“NASCAR views this program as a necessary strategy to expose underserved communities to NASCAR and motorsports opportunities which can benefit all young people looking to connect with sports in non-traditional ways.”

Currently under way and continuing until the end of the racing season, the Fueling Your Dreams Tour will blanket the nation, touching youth and families through racing simulators, show cars, contests, giveaways and online racing. High school students can enjoy the NASCAR Fan Experience High School Outreach program brought to their schools exclusively. Among some of the other Fueling Your Dreams Tour programs:

  • Children ages 8 to 13 can test their driving skills through Youth Karting experiences..
  • Career Panels will reveal the depth of career opportunities in NASCAR specifically, and the motorsports industry in general.
  • Opinion leaders in tour cities will learn more about NASCAR initiatives at Influencers Dinners.
  • Megachurches throughout the South will have NASCAR integrated into Sunday services during Faith-Based Outreach days.
  • Continued support for NASCAR’s history-making Drive for Diversity team.

The Fueling Your Dreams Tour hauler is a traveling display which is anchored by tour assets such as show cars, street cars, interactive displays, music, racing simulators and giveaways.
The Fueling Your Dreams Tour sponsors are NASCAR, Revolution Racing, the U.S. Army, iRacing, Playseat and Logitech and stops have included or will include: Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., Greenville, S.C., Miami, Dover, Del., New Orleans, Hampton, Va., Dallas, Richmond, Va., South Boston, Va., Gresham, Ga., Sparta, Ky., Columbus, Ohio and Indianapolis.