Toyota Joins Revolution Racing

Charlotte, N.C. (Jan. 26, 2011) – Revolution Racing, the second-year NASCAR development program, will campaign Toyota Camrys in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series beginning with this weekend’s NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).

Revolution Racing, founded and owned by former Dale Earnhardt Inc. executives Max Siegel and John Story, exists to provide opportunities in NASCAR for minorities and females and fields four teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, six teams in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, multiple youth racing teams and a NASCAR pit crew development program. Each team is part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity (D4D) program, now entering its eighth season.

“Revolution Racing is providing a tremendous service to the NASCAR industry and the individuals it touches,” said Ed Laukes, corporate motorsports marketing manager for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS). “Toyota’s commitment to diversity is built into every aspect of our business. We are proud to support the diversity efforts of NASCAR and Revolution Racing both on and off the track.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East teams are operated under the direction of four-time NASCAR K&N Pro Series champion Andy Santerre, and the six NASCAR Whelen All‐American Series teams are led by former Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway track champion Blair Addis.

“Toyota and TRD have made a significant contribution to Revolution Racing, the NASCAR D4D program and diversity in general,” said Siegel and Story in a joint statement. “Toyota has made significant contributions to NASCAR and has proven itself to be a great corporate partner to the entire sport, and we are fortunate to have Toyota as a partner at Revolution Racing.”
This year’s D4D class represents drivers from across North America. Six drivers will return from 2010 and will be joined by four new drivers.

Last year’s on-track success was the most significant in the history of the D4D program with 11 drivers combining for five wins, 75 top-10 finishes and 41 top-five finishes. African-American driver Darrell Wallace Jr., who will return for his second season, earned Rookie of the Year honors as a 17-year-old, the youngest to ever win the award in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Hispanic driver Sergio Pena took the world by surprise when he won the pole for the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., as he beat out 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Joey Logano. Pena finished the race second to Logano.

Among the historic accomplishments of Revolution Racing drivers in 2010 include:

  • March 27, 2010 Revolution Racing driver Darrell Wallace, Jr. became the youngest and first African-American to win in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history;·On June 5, 2010 Revolution Racing driver Ryan Gifford became the first African-American driver in NASCAR K&N Pro Series history to qualify on the pole;
  • On June 11, 2010 Revolution Racing driver Michael Cherry became the first African-American to win at Tri-County Speedway (Hudson, N.C.);
  • On July 2, 2010 Revolution Racing driver Megan Reitenour became the first female driver to win at Tri-County Speedway (Hudson, N.C.).
  • On July 30, 2010 Darrell Wallace Jr. won his second NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Lee (N.H.) USA Speedway.
  • On Sept. 24, 2010 Darrell Wallace Jr. become the youngest and first African-American to capture Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors finishing third in season points.
  • Over 200 minority and female drivers applied to be part of the 2011 Drive for Diversity class. Thirty-six of those applicants were invited to tryout at the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco last October at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Drivers were selected by Revolution Racing and NASCAR officials based on their on-track performance and off-track interviews.
  • The following 10 drivers were selected by Revolution Racing and NASCAR to compete in the program in 2011:
  • Jorge Arteaga of Aguascalientes, Mex., will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Made three starts in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series including a 10th place finish in his debut at Lee USA Speedway on July 30th. Won the 2010 NASCAR Mexico Series Most Popular Driver award.
  • Mackena Bell of Carson City, Nev., returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a second season, and will race in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. In 2010, three of her five starts in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series were top-five, while her best finish came on Aug. 20 where she picked up an impressive second-place finish.
  • Jessica Brunelli of Hayward, Calif., will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Her 2010 season included six top‐five finishes and 10 top‐10 finishes. She returns to the Drive for Diversity program for a second season.
  • Michael Cherry of Valrico, Fla., returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a third season and will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Last year he competed in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series, and became the first African American to win a late model race at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C. The win was also his first career late model stock car victory.
  • Trey Gibson of Easley, S.C., will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. In 2010, Gibson ran a full schedule of late model stock cars at Greenville‐Pickens Speedway where he had two pole positions, 11 top‐five finishes, 20 top 10‐finishes and two wins. He made history by becoming the youngest driver to win a late model race at the historic Greenville‐ Pickens Speedway.
  • Ryan Gifford of Winchester, Tenn., returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a second season racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Last year Gifford became the first African‐American in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East history to win a pole position on June 6, 2010. Ran 10 races for Revolution Racing in 2010 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, recording four top five finishes, one pole and a 10th‐place finish in season points.
  • Tayla Orleans of Randleman, N.C., will race in the NASCAR Whelen All American Series. From age 7, in her first 120 races she recorded 31 wins and 92 top-fives. Since that time, she has won numerous karting championships and honors that include becoming the youngest stock car winner in the history of Waterford (Connecticut) Speedbowl history.
  • Bryan Ortiz of Bayamon, Puerto Rico will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. In 2010 Ortiz drove for Sterling Marlin Racing in the Sunoco National Tour, recording four top‐three finishes in seven race and one pole position. He won Rookie of the Year honors after capturing Rookie of the Race awards in all seven starts.
  • Sergio Pena of Winchester, Va., returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a second season, and will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He entered his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at the Toyota All‐Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., won the pole, and finished second to 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Joey Logano.
  • Darrell Wallace Jr. of Mobile, Ala., will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a second season. Wallace Jr. won Rookie of the Year honors in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, as well as capturing two victories in the series, which were the most wins for any Drive for Diversity driver last year.