CONCORD, N.C. (Aug. 29, 2014) — Sergio Peña has been racing since he was 4 years old, but he didn’t start with stock cars. Instead, he started on a dirt bike with training wheels. His father, Jairo, raced go-karts and motocross in his native Colombia, so it was easy for the younger Peña to follow in his footsteps. In his eight-year professional career, Peña has raced motocross, go-karts, formula and late models before competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, and his father was with him every step of the way. “He’s never missed a race in my entire life. He’s definitely been my biggest supporter throughout my entire career,” Peña said. “We’re more like brothers than father and son. I don’t think we would have the same super close relationship if it weren’t for racing.” Though he was doing what he loved at the track almost every weekend, one of Peña’s biggest challenges during his youth was dealing with his parents’ divorce. “Trying to keep both of them happy was difficult,” he said. “I was so close to my dad with all the racing stuff, that I felt like it may take away from the relationship with my mom. But, fortunately, it never did.” He maintained a close bond with his mother, Tracey, as well as his younger sister, Gabriela, who now attends West Virginia University. Since childhood, he has always kept racing at the forefront, but Peña didn’t let the sport keep him from living the life of an average kid.He still found time to play basketball, football, and soccer throughout middle school and high school in his hometown of Winchester, Virginia, even with racing almost year-round. “I honestly don’t even know how we had the time,” he laughed. “I always tried to be involved in a bunch of sports.” The 6-foot-3 driver still plays basketball almost every Tuesday night at a local church, and with a full-time racing schedule, he continues to remain just as active as he did when he was a child. When he isn’t racing, Peña enjoys mountain biking, swimming and running, specifically in charity events. This year, the 21-year-old participated in the Jimmie Johnson Foundation 5K and the Gallopond Gallop 5K, where he came in second in his age group. He also loves jogging along Lake Norman, located in the Cornelius, Davidson, and Huntersville areas. ”I like anything outdoors and adventurous. I just love being active and getting my adrenaline flowing,” he said. “I’m always looking to push myself to my limit.” He found himself striving to push his limit by joining the inaugural Rev Racing Team in 2010 at age 16. He grew up road course racing, so driving on the oval was a new obstacle for him. The young, aggressive driver welcomed the challenge and made his K&N debut at the All-Star Toyota Showdown where he stole the spotlight after capturing the pole and finishing second behind Joey Lagano. In his second year with the team, he tied for most wins in the NKNPSE with three victories as well as four top-5sand seven top-10s. After graduating from James Wood High School in 2011, Peña attended Radford University for two years where he studied mechanical engineering and communications to enhance his racing career. He aimed to learn more about the car’s mechanical structure and how to properly conduct himself with the media. While in college, Peña was a member of the NASCAR Next program, and it was then he discovered that it was nearly impossible to be a full-time racer and a full-time student. He decided to leave school to chase his dream. “I really want to finish and get my degree, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I have to pursue right now,” he said. Though Peña no longer physically attends to school, he continues his education in a different way. He has made it a habit to consistently practice Spanish. Growing up with his mother, who is a Spanish teacher, and his Colombian father, he could always understand the language but couldn’t speak it very well. “I have no idea why I didn’t practice Spanish with them. I learned it just from hearing it all the time,” he said. “At a lot of the go-kart races, there were a lot of kids from Colombia racing with us, so since I heard it so much, I was able to catch on.” Almost fluent in the language now, he’s been able to participate in interviews with Spanish-speaking networks this year. His Mexican teammate Daniel Suárez also continues to help him learn the language. Aside from racing, he often takes a breather from his life in the fast lane to express his artistic side. Though he his known for his charisma and outgoing personality during interviews, he enjoys life behind the scenes and takes time to work on his photography and filming. “I always took pictures when I was little. I just started to like it more and more as I grew up,” Peña said. He shares his passion for photography with his friend and former Rev Racing teammate, Darrell Wallace, Jr. The two can often be found taking pictures in downtown Charlotte. Peña also likes to play the piano and guitar in his spare time. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
As Rev Racing aims to advance and support the development of drivers in the program and beyond, we would like to congratulate Daniel Suarez on signing a deal with Joe Gibbs Racing to compete full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 2015 season. Suarez will join Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. among the ranks of Rev Racing graduates who have moved on to a national series in NASCAR. “Daniel is a special talent. We are proud to have been apart of his development as a driver and we are excited to see what the future holds for him. Along with Darrell and Kyle, Daniel is another testament to the success of the diversity program and we wish him the best in his latest endeavor,” said Rev Racing owner, Max Siegel. Suarez is will finish out the 2014 season competing in both the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and the NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series. In the NKNPSE he has two wins, four top-fives and seven top-10 finishes this season. However, Suarez will miss the next NKNPSE race at Greenville Pickens Speedway as he will be in Mexico contending for the NMTS championship, where he is currently first in the point standings. Suarez will return to the NKNPSE at Dover International Speedway in what is expected to be the culmination of his career with Rev Racing and the beginning to his career with Joe Gibbs Racing. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities and women drivers and drivers and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing, visit revracing.net or follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
Patience, patience, patience. Mark Green, crew chief of the No. 2 NTI/UTI Toyota, repeatedly stressed the sentiment to Ryan Gifford over the course of the 55-lap race at Virginia International Raceway this past weekend. Gifford, who struggled a bit in qualifying, took the green flag in 18th. However, keeping a steady pace and not overdriving the car allowed Gifford to take the checkered in ninth. “Be patient and stick to your lines”, Green continually repeated to Gifford over the radio. The incessant reminder to Gifford that he would be in for a long race kept the Winchester, Tennessee driver at bay from trying to force his way through the pack. Unlike Watkins Glen, the track at Virginia International Speedway has sharper turns and much more variation. Consequently, those who overdrove their vehicles paid the price. In a race where 24 cars took the green flag, only 13 were able to take the checkered. There were seven caution flags (two of which were red) that kept the race under caution for 16 laps. As the field began to diminish lap after lap, Gifford slowly but surely began to improve his position until he found himself in 12th with three laps to go. It was then that Gifford made a push, and as the beneficiary of an accident by teammate Sergio Peña, Gifford was able to crack the top-10. After retaining position through the subsequent green-white-checkered restart, Gifford was able to coast to a 9th place finish, cementing his fourth top-10 of the 2014 season. Peña, Ortiz, Bell, and Beasley were unfortunately unable to take the checkered and finish 13th, 19th 21st and 23rd respectively. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities and women drivers and drivers and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing, visit revracing.net or follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
Concord, N.C. (Aug. 15, 2014) — Devon Amos starts every day by writing down ten things he’s thankful for. One of those is his opportunity to drive for Rev Racing. He traveled more than 1,400 miles from his Rio Rancho, New Mexico home to drive for the team. Amos became interested in racing at 9-years-old after watching a cartoon called, “NASCAR Racers.” The show had an ethnically diverse cast as well as both male and female drivers. “The cars were going upside down in these circles, and they had these rocket boosters. They were flying, and I said I was going to do that someday.” His stepfather later introduced him to the real world of NASCAR, and he was automatically hooked. Amos began racing quarter-midgets at 12-years-old and then moved on to race a 4-cylinder Volkswagen Beetle. His mother and stepfather, Christi and Michael Feery, raised the young Italian and African-American driver along with his older sister, SaRae. The 23-year-old learned the importance of work ethic and responsibility at a young age. His parents only allowed him to race if he made good grades. “My parents did a great job guiding me and my sister as kids,” Amos said. “They brought me up to work hard. They taught me that I needed to work for the things that I wanted.” At 15-years-old, Amos stopped racing altogether, but after graduating from Independence High School in 2009, he knew he wanted to race professionally. He worked at Home Depot and in 6 months, Amos saved $6,000 to buy a racecar to pursue his dream of becoming a NASCAR driver. “I bought my car, but I didn’t really think everything through. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. I just knew I was going to do it.” He bought his car from Wim Dons who was heavily involved in racing. Dons allowed Amos to travel with his family to compete in races and let Amos keep his car in his garage. Even with a three-year absence from the sport, Amos excelled with help from the Dons, which Amos refers to as his second family. He first applied for the Drive for Diversity Program in 2010 but needed more racing experience, so he went to racing school in Hickory, N.C. He did well and was invited to the 2011 combine, but was not selected to the team. “I was really frustrated, but it just pushed me more. Each time pushed me to be better and make it to the next level,” he said. “I was devastated, but then I was like, ‘I’m going to go to the combine next year and not give them a choice but to pick me.’” And he did just that. Amos persevered and was selected to the 2013 Rev Racing team. He now balances full-time racing and working 25 hours per week. When he’s not at work or racing, he helps out as a mechanic on teammate Daniel Suárez’s crew to learn as much as he can about all aspects of the sport. As a driver, Amos believes that his ability to work on the outside of the car will help him develop better communication, as well as a stronger chemistry with his own crew, which is vital to team success. “I have a high standard for myself. I want to do everything that I can to just go fast,” he said. He started racing in the Legend Series his first year, and despite a significant transition from mini-sprints, he secured four top-5 and seven top-10 finishes. Amos advanced to the Whelen All-American Series for the 2014 season. With a competitive drive to succeed, Amos says he always strives for greatness and optimism. Despite his many accolades in racing throughout the years, Amos, just like every athlete and every person, is sometimes frustrated with his performance, but he refuses to let negativity interfere with his potential and success. “I give myself positive affirmations. One thing I do is look at my trophies in my apartment. I remind myself that I’ve succeeded before and tell myself that I have to focus on what I want to get to,” he explained. “Then I understand that I just have to continue to have faith in God and move forward.” Because his passion for racing requires much of his time, Amos is unable to visit his family and often misses his Southwest home. He says his mother is his biggest supporter, and they talk often. She sends him inspirational books that he reads almost every night. Though most of his support system resides in New Mexico, he is still able to rely on his girlfriend, Christine, who moved to Charlotte with him when he was selected to the team. One of the main things he misses about home is looking at the stars. Unlike Charlotte’s busy metropolitan area, Amos lived on the outskirts of Rio Rancho, where he could see the stars for miles. “I remember spending just about every night sitting on the back wall, looking at the stars. I would just connect with everything and be one with life,” he said. “It just felt so good. I would think a lot about being successful and where I wanted my career to go.” To Amos, racing is more than a sport. He believes racing is his purpose. “I look at racing, and it can help people in many ways, especially with what we’re doing with the Drive for Diversity. There are so many people that can be pulled from different places to achieve goals they never thought they could and make a difference in the community.” He hopes NASCAR’s diversity continues to grow on and off the track. Amos was happy when he learned that Wendell Scott, the first African-American to win a NASCAR race, would be inducted into the 2015 Hall of Fame. “I think it’s great. I hope there’s more to come,” he said. “He paved the way for what we’re working on now. I couldn’t imagine what Wendell Scott went through back then. He’s a true inspiration.” While he admires Scott’s legacy, Amos’s favorite NASCAR driver is Jeff Gordon. He hopes to race for Hendrick Motorsports someday, just like Gordon. Amos loves watching the Miami Heat and enjoys giving back to the community. He participated in Habitat for Humanity’s effort to build homes earlier this year. And with his experience on both dirt and asphalt tracks, he also mentors Rev Racing’s bandolero drivers. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
ALTON, VA (Aug. 13, 2014) – On August 16, NASCAR driver Mackena Bell will be at Virginia International Raceway, racing for the checkered flag and to help stop the clock on lung cancer, the #1 cancer killer of women in the United States. A K&N Pro Series East driver, Bell pilots the Special Smiles Pediatric Dentistry Toyota Camry 21*. She has joined the American Lung Association and national presenting sponsor, CVS Caremark, as an honorary spokesperson for LUNG FORCE, a new effort to make lung cancer in women a public health priority, drive policy change and increase research funding. Bell’s personal connection to lung cancer results from having lost her grandfather – the man who inspired and encouraged her love for racing – to the disease. “My papa was always my biggest fan and came to nearly all my races. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer, we were devastated,” Bell said. “Just six weeks later, heaven gained an angel. In honor of my papa’s memory, I have joined LUNG FORCE to fight the #1 cancer killer in the U.S.” By adding her voice to LUNG FORCE, Bell is working to educate women nationwide to help increase the likelihood they will make healthy decisions about their own lung health and influence the decisions made by the men, women and children they love. According to the Lung Association’s first Women’s Lung Health Barometer, a survey of more than 1,000 American women, current awareness about the impact of lung cancer in women is extremely low. Even though lung cancer has long been the top cancer killer of women, the Barometer revealed that only 1 percent of women named the disease as a cancer that is top-of-mind for them. Furthermore, statistics show that, on average, fewer than half of all women with lung cancer will be alive one year after diagnosis. And anyone can get lung cancer – two-thirds of lung cancer cases are in those who have never smoked or have successfully quit smoking. “Mackena Bell is giving us a unique opportunity to raise public awareness about lung cancer in women,” said Dennis Alexander, “By speaking out about lung cancer as she travels the country racing, Mackena is helping change people’s thinking about the disease and how it impacts families, bringing much-needed attention to the lung cancer risk factors everyone needs to know about.” Locally and across the nation, LUNG FORCE will educate and empower patients and healthcare providers, focus public policy on addressing the disease and its causes, and raise critical funds for research into better detection and targeted treatments for lung cancer. The American Lung Association of Virginia offers several resources for individuals and families that have been impacted by lung cancer. Anyone seeking help can visit Facing Lung Cancer (www.mylungcancersupport.org), powered by the American Lung Association, our comprehensive education and support website developed specifically for patients and caregivers. Assistance is also available through the Lung Association’s Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNG-USA, which connects callers to information, resources and support services. About the American Lung Association The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. With your generous support, the American Lung Association is “Fighting for Air” through research, education and advocacy. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or visit www.lung.org. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities and women drivers and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net or follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
Concord, NC (Aug. 14, 2014) – Watkins Glen International is a difficult track to conquer. Drivers who are conditioned to turning left are all of a sudden faced with the task of turning right. And while this task may seem trivial and second nature to the average driver, imagine completing such a task at 120 mph. Even the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who took to the track two days later had enough difficulty at Watkins Glen International that there were a couple major wrecks, resulting in red flags and significant time under caution. When merely crossing the finish line is arduous task, success isn’t always determined by winning. Sometimes, it’s determined by improvement. It is this mindset that each of the Rev Racing teammates are carrying into the second road course competition of the season this weekend. Leading the pack for Rev Racing will be none other than Sergio Peña who will be competing on a course he is very familiar with. Sergio Peña (No. 4 L&M Ethanol Toyota) — The Winchester, VA native will be competing on a track that he’s grown familiar with over the years as VIR is located only a few hours from Peña’s hometown. Although, Peña and crew did not leave Watkins Glen International with the results that they had hoped for, they are banking that experience and familiarity with VIR will be the difference and allow him to garner another top-5 to add to his résumé. Ryan Gifford (No. 2 UTI/NASCAR Tech Toyota) — After tire issued sidelined Gifford early in last weekend’s competition, the NASCAR Next driver will be looking to redeem himself. A top-10 at VIR would greatly contribute to his campaign to end the season on a strong note. Bryan Ortiz (No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota Racing Development Toyota) — Ortiz will be making his season debut with Rev Racing at Virginia International Raceway. The Biscuitville 125 is the first of two races that Ortiz has signed on for with the team. Filling in for Daniel Suarez who will be competing for a title in the Mexico Toyota Series, Ortiz will look to make a statement that he is still a force to be reckoned with in the NKNPSE. Jay Beasley (No. 42 Rev Racing Toyota Racing Development Toyota) — Beasley was one of two Rev Racing drivers who were able to successfully finish the race at Watkins Glen International. And while his 13th place finish was admirable, Beasley is convinced that he could have finished within the top-10. With a bit more turnaround time leading in VIR than the previous two races, Beasley and crew have been working around the clock to get the #42 to the exact specification for Beasley to add another top-5 to his resume. “Going into Watkins Glen we didn’t have the car to the specifications we would have liked. We took a car that was meant to turn left to a road course with all right turns. With the extra time, we’ll be able to get the car into better shape,” said Beasley. “We were able to set the transmission off and make sure the car handles better as a road course car and not an oval car.” Mackena Bell (No. 21 Special Smiles/Lung Force Toyota) — Perseverance. Bell has battled all season long, and battled her heart out for a 13th place finish at Watkins Glen International in a race where not everyone was lucky enough to finish. VIR will be no different and Bell will continue her goal of finishing the season on a strong note. Furthermore, with the added experience of a road course under her belt, Bell is looking to build upon last weekend and finish with a top-10 or better. The Bully Hill Vineyards 125 will be broadcast on Sunday, Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 1. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will resume with the Biscuitville 125 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. on Saturday, Aug. 16th. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
Concord, NC (Aug. 7, 2014) – The Bully Hill Vineyards 125 has been circled on each of our driver’s calendar since the beginning of the season. While the Rev Racing drivers enjoy racing on oval tracks, they also enjoy the thrill of being able to turn right. That being said, Watkins Glen International is the first road course that Rev Racing will compete on this season. Tomorrow’s race marks the first time that the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has competed at Watkins Glen International since 2009 and leading the way for Rev Racing is none other than Sergio Peña. Sergio Peña (No. 4 L&M Ethanol Toyota) —With 4 races left in the NKNPSE season, Peña has seemed to find his groove. His last two races have resulted in two top-5’s, including a hard-fought win at Columbus Motor Speedway. With the momentum of two solid performances behind him, Peña could not be more confident going into tomorrow’s competition. The Winchester, VA native grew up racing and testing on road courses and feel that his experience provides an advantage. Even though his last two performances were on ovals, Peña is confident that he will be able to secure his third top-5 in a row at the Bully Hill Vineyards 125. Peña is currently 14th in the point standings. Ryan Gifford (No. 2 UTI/NASCAR Tech Toyota) —Gifford comes into this weekend’s race with an optimistic, but cautious mindset. The Winchester, Tenn. native had his best performance of the season at Columbus Motor Speedway, followed by his worst performance of the season at Iowa after a blown tire sidelined him after barely a dozen laps into the race. The Rev Racing veteran is looking to return to the same form that earned him his first top-5 of the season at Columbus Motor Speedway, and finish the season strong. Gifford is currently 17th in the point standings. Daniel Suárez (No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota) — Suarez heads into this weekend’s race with a bit of a chip on his shoulders. After a less than favorable performance at Iowa Speedway that surprisingly resulted in the Monterrey, Mexico native falling one spot short of a top-10, Suarez looks at the Bully Hill Vineyards 125 as a chance to earn back the top-10 he missed out on. And with his competitive edge, it’s difficult to bet against him. Suarez is currently 16th in the point standings. Jay Beasley (No. 42 Rev Racing Toyota) — Like Peña, Beasley grew up racing and testing on road courses. However, this weekend’s race will mark the first time that the Rev Racing newcomer will compete on a road course in a K&N car. Beasley had a less than favorable outing at Iowa Speedway after suffering tire issues. However he is looking to return to the same form that earned him three top-10’s in four races. Beasley is currently 12th in the point standings. Mackena Bell (No. 21 Special Smiles/Lung Force Toyota) — Bell has shown signs of greatness this season. However, she’s been plagued with bad luck as of late. The Rev Racing veteran is looking to turn her bad luck around and finish the season strong, starting with a solid performance at Watkins Glen, so that she can have some momentum going into next season. Bell is currently 16th in the point standings. The autograph session will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 8th with the two-lap qualifying beginning at 3:40 p.m. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.
Concord, NC (Aug. 5, 2014) – Mistakes can be costly. However, being on the opposite side of a mistake can prove beneficial. In this past weekend’s Autolite Iridium XP 150, other’s mistakes going into the halfway break became the defining moment of the race for the Rev Racing team. Leading Rev Racing heading into the break was Sergio Peña, who was P5 after fighting his way up from his P21 qualifying position. Battling back from an unfavorable qualifying effort at Iowa Speedway is all too familiar for the Rev Racing returnee. In his first stint at Iowa Speedway this season, Peña impressively improved 18 spots over the course of the race before finishing P11. And although he had hopes of qualifying better this time around, he was forced to battle back again. A few laps before the halfway break, Peña’s campaign to crack the top-3 was cut short by a caution flag that was issued after a Rev Racing competitor hit the wall in turn two. Significant damage from the crash was enough to keep the race under caution until the halfway mark. As cars continued their go-around under the caution, the leading four cars deviated from the pack and drove down pit road, prior to officials giving the signal that pit road was open. As a result, each of those drivers was penalized and sent to the back of the 43-car field, allowing Peña to automatically jump to P1. Unfortunately, Peña was unable to hold his first place position for the remaining 75 laps. However, it was his ability to recognize the mistake of his competitors and their pit road mistake to put him in position to secure his second top-5 in a row. “I was able to move up early in the race by running high because nobody else was running up there. Then at the end of the race everyone else decided to go high. However, by that time the car was a little too loose and I couldn’t hang on. We’re still happy with our top-5,” Peña said. Daniel Suarez also had an admirable run for Rev Racing. The Monterrey, Mexico native had the best qualifying position for Rev Racing and took the green flag in P14. After a roller coaster race that saw Suarez move up as high as P5 and fall as low as P18, the Rev Racing veteran ultimately fell one spot short of the top-10, taking the checkered in P11. Bell, Beasley, and Gifford finished the race P23, P29, and P40 respectively. The Autolite Iridium XP 150 will air on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, Aug. 8 at 11am. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will resume action with the Bully Hill Vineyards 125 at Watkins Glen International in New York on Friday, Aug. 8. ABOUT REV RACING: Headquartered in Concord, NC, Rev Racing, owned by Max Siegel, operates the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which is the industry’s leading developmental program for ethnic minorities, women drivers, and pit crew members. For more information about Rev Racing visit https://revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.