D4D Pit Crew Athletes Find Victory Lane in Talladega

Lionel Legra and Kevin Richardson, both members of the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint, went to victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway Friday afternoon with Dakoda Armstrong’s No. 22 ARCA Racing Series car. It is the first win for both pit crew athletes.

“Dakoda ran an awesome race,” said Richardson, who changes tires for the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports team. “To win from the pole at Talladega is amazing and I’m so glad to be a part of this team and this experience. This is the place where everyone wants to get a win, and now I can say I’ve been to victory lane at Talladega.”

Richardson has been training with the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint, based out of the Revolution Racing shop in Mooresville, N.C.,  since the beginning of the year. Legra joined the D4D program in mid-2009. Through the program, both participate in pit practice three days a week and have had the opportunity to work weekend ARCA Racing Series events with Cunningham Motorsports.

“When we bring pit crew athletes into the program, they first have to learn their position, whether they are a tire carrier, changer or jackman,” said Phil Horton, Pit Coach for the Drive for Diversity program. “Once they’ve shown an understanding of the fundamentals and the athleticism and mindset required for the job, they are ready to go over-the-wall in a development series, such as ARCA. As they show improvement, they can move up to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and eventually to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.”

Legra and Richardson will continue to work with Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series throughout the 2010 season.
Other D4D Pit Crew News:

Four other members of the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint were also in Talladega this weekend. Tesfa Lee and Richie Williams worked on the pit crew for the No. 16 Coulter Motorsports team. Rayshaud Barkley and Marcus McGruder pitted for the No. 77 Cunningham Motorsports team.

Williams was also recently hired as a full-time mechanic for Germain Racing. He will also serve as a back-up jackman for the team. Williams will continue to practice with the D4D Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint and work weekends as a jackman with an ARCA team until he is ready to move into an over-the-wall position full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck, Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series.

Phil Horton on SIRIUS's The Morning Drive

Phil Horton, Revolution Racing’s strength & conditioning coach, as well as the pit crew coach for the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint, spends a little time getting The Morning Drive up to speed on the D4D crew member program. Phil shares some exciting news with Mike Bagley, Pete Pistone and the listeners… D4D crew members were part of the winning team in the ARCA race at Talladega!

Phil Horton – TMD – 04.27.10

NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Members Ready for 2010

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint will kick-off the 2010 season Daytona International Speedway. Eight current NASCAR Drive for Diversity pit crew athletes, along with at least three program graduates, will go over-the-wall during Speedweeks competition.

Seven current NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member program participants will compete with teams in the ARCA Racing Series event on Feb. 6. The ARCA Racing Series is used as a stepping stone for pit crew athletes looking to compete in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series or NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as they develop their skills.

One D4D pit crew athlete, Anwar Parrish, will compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with Front Row Motorsports in 2010. Parrish will make his debut with the team during the Daytona 500.

“Our Drive for Diversity pit crew athletes have trained hard during the off-season,” said pit crew coach Phil Horton. “It’s important for their development to get them real world, over-the-wall experience. We’re proud to have 11 pit crew athletes representing Drive for Diversity in Daytona.”

Three NASCAR Drive for Diversity program graduates – Dion Williams, Kenyatta Houston and Antonio Morrison – have been competing with teams in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and will continue to compete at national touring series level in 2010. Williams works for Hendrick Motorsports, Houston works for Kevin Harvick Inc. and Furniture Row Racing and Morrison works for Joe Gibbs Racing.

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint is a comprehensive year-round training program for minority and female pit crew athletes. The program teaches aspiring pit crew members the fundamentals, discipline and confidence required to be a top athlete on pit road. The pit crew training program includes hands-on over-the-wall position training for tire changers, tire carriers, fuelers and jackmen, as well as weight training, agility and footwork programs.

Current NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint pit crew athletes:

  • Rayshaud Barkley, 27, of Chesapeake, Va., will compete as a jackman for Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series.
  • Tesfa Lee, 29, of Brooklyn, N.Y., will compete as a tire changer with Coulter Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series.
  • Lionel Legra, 24, of Miami, Fla., will go over-the-wall in the ARCA Racing Series as a tire carrier for Cunningham Motorsports.
  • Marcus McGruder, 27, of Atlanta, is a tire changer and will be competing with Cunningham Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series.
  • Anwar Parrish, 27, of Shelby, N.C., will be competing as a tire carrier with Front Row Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
  • Josh Edwards, 24 of Ocala, Fla., will compete with Cunningham Motorsports as a jackman in the ARCA Racing Series.
  • Kevin Richardson, 23 of Elizabethtown, N.C., is a tire changer and will be competing in the ARCA Racing Series with Cunningham Motorsports.
  • Richie Williams, 26, of Camden, S.C., will compete as a jackman for Coulter Motorsports in the ARCA Racing Series.