Fast-Time, New Track Record for Brunelli at Las Vegas

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After capping an extremely successful season driving in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Models for Drive for Diversity and Revolution Racing, Jessica Brunelli returned to the West Coast this weekend to compete in the NASCAR S2 Sportsman Late Model Open Show at the Las Vegas Bullring.

Driving an S2 Sportsman Late Model fielded by Tim Huddleson’s High Point Racing, Brunelli nabbed fast-time in Friday’s action to set a new track record for the S2 cars on the 3/8ths mile paved oval. Brunelli turned a lap of 16.466 seconds good for over 81 miles per hour average in the 350 hp spec stock cars.

The Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle development driver started sixth in the 50 lap feature and moved up to fourth by lap four. Early contact in the feature knocked the toe in but Brunelli maintained a fourth place effort all the way to the finish.

Brunelli, originally from Hayward, California, made waves this season with 12 top-ten finishes against the tough competition in North Carolina. Jessica won NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors in Late Models at both Tri-County Speedway and Hickory Speedway this year. She was featured on the show “NASCAR-Next Generation” on VERSUS as well as “Changing Lanes” on BET.

Brunelli recently completed her run through the 2011 Drive for Diversity combine in hopes of being resigned for the 2011 season. She also assisted with the Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle Shoot-Out held in October.

“Jessica continues to prove herself at every race track and in every series she competes in,” Driver Coach Ron Sutton said. “She has what it takes to excel at the next level of stockcar racing and is taking the right steps to get there!”

Race fans can learn more about Jessica Brunelli at her website The website includes links to her Twitter and Facebook accounts, plus details on the various motorsports organizations that Brunelli is a member of.

Sergio Pena, 17, has the drive to improve NASCAR’s diversity

“If you were going to create NASCAR’s ideal driver, how would you begin?” the commercial starts. “Would English be their first language? O su segundo?” driver Sergio Pena asks.

Pena, a 17-year-old senior at James Wood High School in Winchester, is a top prospect in Drive for Diversity, a NASCAR initiative designed to create opportunities for minorities and women in a sport that’s been almost exclusively white and male since its humble beginnings in the deep South in the 1950s.

Read the rest on the Washington Post