DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (October 3, 2013)
— As the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (#NASCARD4D) program approaches its 10-year anniversary, NASCAR and Rev Racing have selected the participants for the 2013 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine. The drivers will participate in a rigorous on- and off-track evaluation process for the opportunity to join the NASCAR D4D program and compete for Rev Racing during the 2014 season. The combine will be held at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., from Oct. 21-23.
The annual Combine is the first step in identifying and developing the future stars of the sport. Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. are among the drivers who have graduated from the NASCAR D4D program after attending the annual combine and driving for Rev Racing. Ryan Gifford, who currently drives for Rev Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut driving for Richard Childress Racing on Aug. 3.
“The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program has contributed to the success of some of the most promising young drivers and crew members in our sport,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president, public affairs and multicultural development. “The drivers announced today will have an opportunity to compete at the 2013 D4D Combine and earn a place on the 2014 NASCAR Drive for Diversity/Rev Racing roster.”
NASCAR officials and Rev Racing representatives chose the 20 up-and-coming drivers from 95 applicants representing the United States, Canada and Latin America.
“We are excited about this year’s group of Combine participants,” said Max Siegel, owner/CEO of Rev Racing. “They represent a great cross-section of talent and experience, and any one of them would make a great addition to the 2014 Drive for Diversity team.”
The 2013 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine participants include:
- Devon Amos, 22 Rio Rancho, N.M.
- Annabeth Barnes, 18 Mooresville, N.C.
- George Beasley, 21 Las Vegas, Nev.
- Nicole Behar, 15 Otis Orchards, Wash.
- Ryan Bernal, 19 Hollister, Calif.
- Collin Cabre, 19 Thonotosassa, Fla.
- Meagan Creech, 20 Ashland, Va.
- Claire Decker, 18 Eagle River, Wis.
- Paige Decker, 20 Eagle River, Wis.
- Natalie Decker, 16 Eagle River, Wis.
- Ruben Garcia, Jr., 17 Mexico City, Mexico
- Blake Kisner, 18 Chanute, Kan.
- Katlynn Leer, 14 St. Moulton, Iowa
- Jack Madrid, 18 San Clemente, Calif.
- Hannah Newhouse, 16 Twin Falls, Idaho
- Sergio Pena, 20 Catharpin, Va.
- Dylan Smith, 21 Randolph, Vt.
- Kenny Stewart II, 16 Carson, Calif.
- Cody Thompson, 20 Fremont, Calif.
- Sam Wright, 18 Vancouver, Wash.
An additional eight young drivers will join these 20 drivers on Oct. 23 and compete for the opportunity to drive for Rev Racing during the 2014 Summer Shootout Series in INEX Legends and Bandoleros.
- Jairo Avila, 17 Alhambra, Calif.
- Austin Geer, 11 Johns Creek, Ga.
- Kylin Hammer, 11 Meadowview, Va.
- Ryleigh Lemonds, 10 Yorktown, Va.
- Enrique Limon, 15 Mexico City, Mexico
- Jaiden Reyna, 7 Newport News, Va.
- Ashley Rogero, 15 Naples, Fla.
- Walter Thomas, 15 Indianapolis, Ind.
All of the drivers attending the Combine will be mentored and coached by the Rev Racing staff, along with the team’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers Mackena Bell, Ryan Gifford, Bryan Ortiz and Daniel Suarez.
The Hampton Convention & Visitor Bureau and Langley Speedway have partnered with Rev Racing and NASCAR to support the 2013 NASCAR D4D Combine. Langley Speedway will host the Combine for the third consecutive year. The paved 0.395-mile short track is one of the flattest tracks in the region with six-degree banked corners and four degrees of banking on the straightaway. Langley Speedway is an ideal track to test the abilities of NASCAR’s up-and-coming talent.
Thirty drivers from different forms of racing across the United States will showcase their skills in front of NASCAR executives and officials at the annual Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine presented by Sunoco, as they vie for one of 10 spots with Revolution Racing for the 2010 season. The Combine kicks off the new academy-style development for Drive for Diversity, with 10 drivers competing for the program under a single team ownership structure. The scouting event will take place October 16-20 in Charlotte, N.C., and Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
“The drivers invited to the Combine will compete for an opportunity to be a part of the inaugural class in the D4D programs new academy-style driver development program,” said Marcus Jadotte, Managing Director of Public Affairs for NASCAR, who oversees the sanctioning body’s diversity initiatives, “As the Drive for Diversity initiative enters its seventh year, the program’s focus on driver testing and training will better position drivers to succeed and advance in our sport.”
“The Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine presented by Sunoco is an integral part of the D4D initiative,” said Max Siegel, Chief Executive Officer of The 909 Group. “We are looking forward to this year’s event and are confident the drivers invited to participate in the Combine will raise the bar in terms of talent and competition.”
Since the creation of Drive for Diversity in 2004, 31 competitors have driven for the initiative in NASCAR’s developmental series, winning 35 races. The 2009 driver class combined for six wins, 51 top fives and 125 top 10s. Driver Paul Harraka captured two wins and Rookie of the Year in NASCAR’s premiere development series, the NASCAR Camping World Series West.
The 30 drivers participating in this year’s Combine, including 12 members of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class, will participate in both on- and off-track evaluation over a four-day period. The on-track session will be conducted in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series late models and NASCAR Camping World Series cars at Motor Mile Speedway. Off the track, the drivers will be evaluated during media and sponsor relations activities.
The drivers attending the Combine will also be featured in a television series, “Changing Lanes,” developed in collaboration with the NASCAR Media Group and set to air in early 2010 on BET. The eight-part series will showcase the development of young Drive for Diversity competitors trying to make it in the big-time world of NASCAR racing.
Ten drivers will be selected to compete for Revolution Racing under the Drive for Diversity umbrella in 2010. Six drivers will compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and four will compete in the NASCAR Camping World Series East.
The following drivers will participate in this year’s Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine presented by Sunoco:
- Jorge Arteaga (Houston, Tex.) is currently 11th in the NASCAR Mexico Series standings with three top fives and four top 10s.
- Mackena Bell (Carson City, Nev.), a member of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class, finished eighth in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model standings at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, (Calif.), with one top five and 10 top 10s.
- Jessica Brunelli (Hayward, Calif.) competed in the Modified division at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., scoring 10 top fives and 13 top 10s.
- Michael Cherry (Valrico, Fla.) scored seven top fives and 19 top 10s in the Late Model division at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., as a member of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class.
- Tiffany Daniels (Smithfield, Va.) joined the Drive for Diversity program in 2009, competing in the NASCAR Camping World Series East for Hamilton Racing.
- Heather DesRochers (Granby, Mass.) competed in the SK Light Modified division at Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway. She earned one win, six top fives and seven top 10s in 15 races.
- Phil Dugan (Meridian, Idaho) competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series West for the Drive for Diversity program in 2009, finishing the season 11th in the points standings.
- Cassie Gannis (Phoenix, Ariz.) enjoyed three top-10 finishes in the Late Model division at Toyota Speedway this season.
- Alissa Geving (Penngrove, Calif.) raced in the 360 All Pro Series at Petaluma Speedway, earning two wins and 15 top fives in 15 starts. She also set a track qualifying record.
- Ryan Gifford (Winchester, Tenn.) competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series East in 2009, as well as running dirt and asphalt late model events across the Southeast.
- Katie Hagar (Nobleboro, Maine) set a track qualifying record at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway, driving in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series as a member of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class.
- Paul Harraka (Fair Lawn, N.J.) became the first Drive for Diversity driver to win a race in a NASCAR regional touring division. He finished the season with two wins and seven top fives, and was named the NASCAR Camping World Series West Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
- Laura Hayes (Wilton, Calif.) joined the 2009 Drive for Diversity class, competing in the Late Model division at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. She scored four top-10 finishes this season.
- Sloan Henderson (Franklin, Ohio) earned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Ohio state ookie of the year honors at Kil-Kare Speedway in Xenia, Ohio with six top fives and 18 top 10s.
- Brandie Jass (Bryan, Tex.) competed at 105 Speedway in Cleveland, Tex., racing in the Lonestar Outlaw Sprinters. She scored eight top fives and 14 top 10s in 18 events.
- John Jones (Mooresville, N.C.) has been competing in the INEX Bandolero Car Series, as well as testing late models throughout North Carolina.
- Rebecca Kasten (Mequon, Wis.) has spent the year racing touring series Late Models throughout the United States. She tallied six top-10 finishes this season.
- Ali Kern (Fremont, Ohio) raced in the Modified division at Sandusky (Ohio) Speedway, finishing third in points with two wins and nine top fives.
- Brea Lopez (Vader, Wash.) finished third in the Limited Late Model division at South Sound Speedway in Tenino, Wash., with one pole, one win, four top fives and eight top 10s.
- Jessica Murphy (Groveland, Fla.) competed in the Super Late Model and Limited Late Model divisions at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway this season, earning two wins and nine top fives.
- Sergio Pena (Catharpin, Va.) kicked off his rookie season in the Late Model division at Shenandoah (Va.) Speedway with five wins, before moving over to Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
- Juan Pitta (Galt, Calif.) earned one pole, one win and 12 top fives in the Late Model division at All American Speedway as a member of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class.
- Megan Reitenour (Miamisburg, Ohio) earned rookie of the year honors for the Late Model division at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C., as a member of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class. She earned one pole, seven top fives and 16 top 10s.• Jason Romero (Cameron Park, Calif.) won the track championship in the Late Model division at All American Speedway after winning 11 races this season.
- Natalie Sather (Fargo, N.D.) competed with the Drive for Diversity program in 2009, running in the Super Late Model division at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Wash. Sather earned one win and 10 top fives in her rookie season on asphalt, and was the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Washington state rookie of the year.• Dylan Smith (Randolph, Vt.) was the only rookie to compete full-time in the Late Model division at Thunder Road Speedbowl in Waterbury, Vt.
- Jonathan Smith (Beacon Falls, Conn.) competed in the NASCAR Camping World Series East as a member of the 2009 Drive for Diversity class. He earned two top-10 finishes this season.
- Emily Sue Steck (Holman, Wis.) raced in the Late Model division at LaCrosse (Wisc.) Fairgrounds Speedway. She won three races and had 10 top fives and 14 top 10s this season.
- Trista Stevenson (Pocahontas, Ill.) raced in the United States Super Truck Challenge Series, winning three poles and two feature events.
- Darrell Wallace, Jr. (Mobile, Ala.) competed in 23 late model events, including nine UARA Late Model division events, scoring three wins and 11 top fives.