Young, Multicultural And Female Drivers Compete For Spot In NASCAR

Rev Racing, NASCAR Scout Drivers At 11th Annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine

DriveForDiversity_922x520.jpg.main.pngDAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (Sept. 30, 2014) – Twenty multicultural and female race car drivers from the United States, Canada and Latin America will participate in the 11th Annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine Oct. 13-15 with hopes of earning a spot in the 2015 NASCAR D4D Class in partnership with Rev Racing.

The NASCAR D4D Combine – being held at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virgina, for the fourth consecutive year – has been the proving ground for several current NASCAR national series drivers, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Larson, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series three-time race winner Darrell Wallace Jr. and NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series driver Daniel Suarez, who recently announced a full-year NASCAR Nationwide Series ride with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2015.

“The NASCAR Drive for Diversity program has seen significant success in recent years with several standout drivers who have consistently exceled and put on their best performance on the race track,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR vice president of racing operations.It is important for us to provide development opportunities for young female and diverse drivers who have the talent, but may lack the resources or guidance to find an entry point in our sport.”

Under the leadership of Max Siegel, owner of Rev Racing and CEO of U.S. Track & Field, NASCAR D4D has evolved to an academy-style development program which will compete under one umbrella in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKPSE) and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS). Rev Racing provides drivers with equipment, mentoring and competition experience throughout the season.

“This year’s Combine applicant pool was among the strongest the program has seen, and we continue to see that year over year,” said Siegel. “The program’s visibility and reputation for developing young, female and diverse drivers with talent and growth potential has increased across the board, and we are seeing steady recognition and support from key stakeholders across the motorsports industry.”

Suarez, a rising star in the U.S. and Mexico, is the third and most recent NASCAR D4D driver to transition into one of NASCAR’s three national series after competing in full seasons in Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series and the NKPSE. Several drivers are attempting to follow in his footsteps, including 18-year-old Ruben Garcia Jr., a member of the NASCAR Next class.

Also returning to defend their spot in the program are current NWAAS drivers Devon Amos and Paige Decker. Current Rev Racing drivers in the NASCAR K&N East Sergio Peña and Jay Beasley also are under consideration to return to the team in 2015, but will not compete at the Combine.

The drivers will be individually evaluated on at-track performance, including their instinctive positioning at different places on the track, proficiency and comfort level in providing in-car feedback to the crew chief, overall speed and the ability to shift during assessments.

Visit FansChoice.TV for the live streaming schedule of the Combine.

Below are invitees to the 11th annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine:

First Name Last Name Age City State / Country
Devon Amos 23 Rio Rancho New Mexico
Jairo Avila 19 Alhambra California
Amber Balcaen 22 Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
Nicole Behar 16 Otis Orchards Washington
Collin Cabre 20 Thonotosassa Florida
Abraham Calderon 25 Monterrey Mexico
Madeline Crane 16 Meansville Georgia
Claire Decker 19 Eagle River Wisconsin
Paige Decker 21 Eagle River Wisconsin
Natalie Decker 16 Eagle River Wisconsin
Juan Esteban García Duarte 17 Bogotá Colombia
Rubén Garcia, Jr 18 Naulcalpán Mexico
Ryan Glenski 21 Mooresville North Carolina
Ali Kern 21 Fremont Ohio
Katlynn Leer 15 Moulton Iowa
Michael Lira 17 Port Orange Florida
Hannah Newhouse 17 Twin Falls Idaho
Emily Packard 17 East Montpelier Vermont
Kenzie Ruston 22 Mooresville North Carolina
Dylan Smith 22 Concord Vermont

 

About NASCAR: The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) governs the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the premier U.S. sports car series. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information, visit www.nascar.com and follow NASCAR at www.facebook.com/NASCAR and Twitter: @NASCAR.

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.

Contacts:

Jacklyne Ramos
NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications
jramos@nascar.com
(386) 631-6866

Cameron Baker
Rev Racing
cbaker@revracing.net
(704) 455-7551

Rev Prepares for Season Finale at Dover

SONY DSCFriday’s competition at Dover International Speedway will mark the culmination of the 2014 K&N Pro Series East season. Although competitor Ben Rhodes has already secured this year’s championship, each of the Rev Racing teams are working harder than ever to cap off the season with a trip to victory lane. Leading the way for Rev Racing will be newcomer Jay Beasley.

Jay Beasley (No. 42 Rev Racing Toyota Racing Development Toyota) — Though Beasley has never competed at Dover International Speedway, the newcomer is 13th in the point standings to lead all Rev Racing drivers. After a breakout stent midway through the season where Beasley accumulated two top-5’s and four top-10’s in 5 races, the Las Vegas native catapulted up the point standings. In his first season competing in the NKNPSE, Beasley has exceeded expectation and will be looking to add a third top-5 and a fifth top-10 to his resume and continue his momentum into next season.

Ryan Gifford (No. 2 Honda Generators Toyota) — In the past two races, Gifford has used his wisdom and experience to secure back-to-back top-10 finishes. Furthermore, he garnered his last top-10 after missing all of practice with mechanical issues. Gifford and crew chief Mark Green have found a formula that has allowed the Winchester, Tennessee native to compete at an extremely high level no matter the obstacles in his way. With five top-5’s under his belt already this season, Gifford heads into the Drive Sober 150 16th in the point standings, looking to add a sixth top-10 to his résumé.

Sergio Peña (No. 4 UTI/NTI Toyota) — Although the season is coming to a close, Peña’s has recently began to ramp up his work ethic. After unfavorable finishes in his past two races, the Winchester Virginia native has begun training harder and spending more time working on his vehicle. Though Peña, who is in 14th place in the point standings, cannot win the championship, he’s holding a win at Dover with the equal regard and preparing as such. With a win and five top-10’s already under his belt this season, Peña is focused on using this final race to bolster his already impressive resume.

Daniel Suarez (No. 6 Sunoco Toyota) – Suarez will be competing in his final race for Rev Racing after inking a NASCAR Nationwide deal with Joe Gibbs Racing last month. Suarez, who has captured national attention after his breakout season, will look to add a third win to his season résumé. After finishing sixth a Dover last year, it shouldn’t be difficult for the Monterrey Mexico native to remind his competitors why he’ll be racing in a national series next year.

Mackena Bell (No. 21 KBG Kick Butts Generators/Lung Force Toyota) – Bell has been searching for a statement victory all season. What better time than the present to remind her competition why she’s one of the few females tough enough to compete in the NKNPSE!

Qualifying begins at 12:30pm, followed by the autograph session at 2:00pm and the Drive Sober 150 at 5:00pm EST.

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 www.revracing.net and follow us on Twitter @RevRacin.

Getting To Know Mackena Bell

ER8V4291CONCORD, N.C. (Sep. 19, 2014) — Mackena Bell lives by one word: Believe. So much so, that she has a tattoo on her right wrist that reads “Belleve” which combines her last name and her old car number 11.

Throughout her 13 years of racing, Bell has remained mentally tough overcoming many challenges to pursue her racing dreams.

Though Bell, 24, has been racing for over a decade, during her childhood, she played soccer with a traveling team, which required plenty of invested time. Eventually, the time had come when she was forced to make a decision between the two sports.

“Once I started getting more into racing, I realized that it was lifestyle and not just a hobby,” Bell said. “The racetrack is the happiest place I can be. When I get in that racecar, I don’t think about anything. It’s just me and the racecar.”

Without looking back, she chose the sport she had been around her entire life, and she and her younger sister, Kellcy, raced for her family’s team in her hometown of Carson City, Nevada.

After much success on the west coast with her father, Kelly, as her crew chief and her mother, Shannon, as one of her biggest supporters, she moved to North Carolina in 2010 and became Rev Racing’s first female driver. However the move wasn’t easy.

“I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was. It was 3,000 miles away from anything I had ever known,” she said. “I packed my car full of everything that I could, and I didn’t have a bed, so I slept on the floor.”

She was initially selected to drive in the K&N Pro Series.

“I destroyed every single car I had been in. I caught on fire,” she said. “My confidence was terrible. I was miserable.”

She was so discouraged that she contemplated giving up, but after speaking with Rev Racing’s owner, Max Siegel, she decided that she wanted to keep pursing her dream. In order to progress, she took a step back and raced late models in the Whelen All-American Series for three years before moving back up to K&N.

In addition to overcoming the distance between her and her family, Bell also struggled with her weight throughout her racing career, but she didn’t let that stop her. She began eating healthy and exercised daily; a regiment that included running 3.5 miles every day.

“To overcome all that, I really felt like I could overcome anything at this point,” she said. “I have a better grasp on racecars and NASCAR in general and what it takes.”

In 2013, she became the second female driver to finish in the top-5 of a K&N Pro Series race. During her career with Rev Racing, she’s accumulated seven top-fives and 31 top-10 finishes.

Though she doesn’t like to play the “girl card,” Bell understands the challenges of being a woman in a male-dominated sport, which is why she generally has a serious demeanor and tone at the racetrack. She expects to be taken seriously as a competitor.

As a driver, she tries her best to set a good example for younger drivers and also mentors one of Rev Racing’s Bandolero drivers, 11-year-old Ryleigh Lemonds.

“I want to be a good role model,” Bell said. “Little girls like Ryleigh motivate me. They make me want to be better and work hard.”

Along with her desire to be a positive influence for young girls, she enjoys giving back to the community.

In 2013, Bell partnered with the American Lung Association to speak out in the fight against lung disease. She lost her great-grandfather to lung cancer.

“That was really hard on me because he was really big in my racing. He always supported me. I never had a racecar that didn’t have his name on it because he sponsored me,” she said.

Aside from racing, Bell grew up wake boarding and jet skiing at Lake Tahoe, just 20 minutes away from her house and still enjoys simply relaxing on the lake when she can.

When she’s not racing or in the shop working on her car, Bell works Monday thru Friday as a waitress in Huntersville, where she’s acquired new fans who support her at races both near and far.

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.

Getting To Know Paige Decker

ER8V4063CONCORD, N.C. (Sep. 12, 2014) — Asphalt and dirt were foreign elements to Paige Decker when she first began racing at three-years-old on her snowmobile.

In her hometown of Eagle River, Wisconsin, she raced for her family-owned team called Decker Racing, which began with her father and uncle, Allen and Chuck Decker. Both raced snowmobiles, and the family tradition continued with their daughters.

Paige’s teammates were her younger sister, Claire, and cousin, Natalie. Growing up, they both looked up to her.

“I’ve always been there for them, and every time they race at home, they call and update me, and that’s how I want it to be,” she said. “I just want to be a role model for them and do everything I can so they can succeed.”

After racing snowmobiles, Paige transitioned to go-karts, and eventually began to race limited late models and super late models. In 2013, Paige became the first female and rookie to win a race in the TUNDRA Super Late Model Series after taking the checkered at Golden Sands Speedway. She later became the first woman to receive the Rookie of the Year award after a successful season in the series.

Alongside racing, Paige had an active childhood. She danced and competed in water skiing, but as racing grew more prominent, the other extracurricular activities dwindled, and so did her social life.

“It was tough trying to balance the racing and all the other activities even from a young age. I had very few friends because a lot of them just didn’t understand how seriously I took the racing,” she said. “In order for me to do something 100 percent, I wanted to focus on one thing.”

Her hard work and focus paid off. After her second attempt at NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity combine, she was selected to the 2014 Rev Racing Team and now races her late model in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Though Paige constantly raced and has garnered much success, it wasn’t all fun and games for the young female driver growing up. Her father made her and her sister work at the two hotels he still owns. In the hotels, the Decker girls literally worked their way from the ground up.

“My dad used to make us pick up cigarette buds in the driveway of the hotel, and he wouldn’t pay us. It was horrible,” she laughed. “I think he just wanted to keep us grounded, so he told us we had to work.”

That’s not all Allen made his daughters do to earn their racing privileges. Paige and Claire were also responsible for getting their own sponsors throughout their racing careers.

After graduating from high school in 2011, Paige attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout for two years. But, balancing college-level coursework and full time racing proved to be a difficult task. Like most young drivers pursuing an education and racing career, she struggled to convince her professors how serious racing was to her, and she occasionally missed classes, which eventually caused her academics to suffer.

“It was really tough to focus on both academics and racing. I left home to come down here and follow my dream,” she said. “I never thought that I would have dropped out of school to come down here and race, but I have a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I’m trying to make the best of it.”

In college, Paige was a member of the university’s dance team and studied early childhood education because she has a passion for children. She discovered her love for kids when she volunteered as a teacher’s assistant in high school, and though she dreams of becoming the first woman to win a Sprint Cup race, she also hopes to teach kindergarten in the future.

Paige enjoys volunteering with special education students and participated in pen pal projects writing letters to elementary students in Wisconsin.

The Mexican-food lover also works as a hostess at On The Border when she’s not revving it up on the track or playing with her cat, Chase.

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.

Second Go-Around at Greenville Pickens

SONY DSCAfter a two-week absence following back-to-back road course races, Rev Racing will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Greenville Pickens Speedway for the Greenville 140. This weekend’s race will mark the second go-around for Rev Racing at Greenville Pickens Speedway this season. After scoring three top-10’s in the first outing, expectations are sky-high and leading the way for Rev Racing this weekend will be Ryan Gifford and Sergio Peña.

Ryan Gifford (No. 2 UTI/NASCAR Tech Toyota) — Gifford heads into the Greenville 140 following one of his best performances of the season. The Biscuitville 125 at VIR was a race defined by strategy, and the Rev Racing veteran relied on his experience to come away with a top-10 in a race where barely half of the competitors were able to finish. Gifford will be looking to relay on experience once again at Greenville, where a top-10 qualifying effort landed him a sixth place finish last time out.

Sergio Peña (No. 4 L&M Ethanol Toyota) — Peña has historically been fast at Greenville Pickens Speedway. In his last outing at the track, Peña garnered his first top-10 of the 2014 season. However, despite his admirable finish, Peña was forced to fight tooth and nail over the course of the 150-lap race to crack the top-10. The goal for Peña this time around is to qualify in the top-10 with the notion that if he can perform half as well as he did in his last outing, he’ll be in prime position to come away with a win.

Bryan Ortiz (No. 6 Rev Racing Toyota Racing Development Toyota) — Ortiz will be making his second appearance for Rev Racing at this weekend’s Greenville 140. Ortiz, who will be piloting the #6 in place of Daniel Suarez, will have some big shoes to fill as Suarez’s top-5 finish was the highest finish for Rev Racing during the team’s last outing at Greenville. However, make no mistake, the Rev Racing alum is more than ready for the challenge and is looking to conclude his tenure with the team on a high note.

Jay Beasley (No. 42 Rev Racing Toyota Racing Development Toyota) — Beasley may be the most eager to return to the track after engine troubles sidelined the Las Vegas, Nevada native only four laps into his outing at VIR. Additionally, Beasley didn’t have the performance that he had hoped for in his first outing at Greenville Pickens Speedway. However, the race was early in the year and the Rev Racing newcomer was still getting adjusted to the NKNPSE. Since then, Beasley has garnered a pair of top-5’s and four top-10’s. Needless to say, expectations for Beasley have changed, and he’ll be going into this weekend’s race looking to add another top-10 to his resume.

Mackena Bell (No. 21 Special Smiles/Lung Force Toyota) — Bell is another Rev Racing driver eager to return to the track after suffering from mechanical issues at VIR. The leading lady for Rev Racing knows how important it is to carry some momentum into the next season and is looking to utilize the final two races of the 2014 season to do so. Qualifying begins at 6pm, followed by the autograph session at 7pm and the Greenville 140 at 8pm.

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.