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2019-20 Drive for Diversity pit crew program class announced

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The next generation of pit crew members will begin training next month with Rev Racing as part of NASCAR’s Drive for Development Program.

Seven former college athletes have been chosen for the 2019-20 program.

The athletes were selected from a fitness assessment in May at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. The assessment tested their agility, strength and flexibility, with all participants learning the roles of different crew members during pit stop simulations.

The class will relocate to the Charlotte area for a six-month training program led by Phil Horton, Rev Racing’s director of athletic performance. All members will train to become tire changers, tire carriers and jackmen, “with hopes of one day earning a spot on a national series race team,” according to a news release.

The pit crew element is part of the overall Drive for Diversity program, which also provides opportunities for aspiring drivers. All programs are geared toward providing opportunities for women and minorities in the pursuit of careers within NASCAR. Since its inception, more than 100 individuals have graduated from the Drive for Diversity program, with more than 50 currently working within the sport..

“We look forward to welcoming this year’s class to NASCAR’s most comprehensive pit crew training and development program,” Rev Racing CEO Max Siegel said. “We couldn’t be prouder of the journey both our pit crew development program and graduates have taken from its inception.

“With the expansion of our recruiting efforts across the country, the talent level rises, and our program continues to evolve and create more opportunities for advancement at a higher level.”

The 2019-20 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program participants are:

Name Hometown University Primary Sport
Hadji Gaylord Norfolk, Va. Norfolk State University Football (Defensive End)
Robin Loza Charlotte, N.C. Central Piedmont Community College Football (Wide Receiver)
Maurice McKinnon Charlotte, N.C. Guilford College Football (Wide Receiver)
Dalanda Ouendeno Paris, France University of Miami Soccer (Defender)
Mequel Phillips Chester, Va. Virginia State University Football (Linebacker)
Raynard Revels Richmond, Va. Norfolk State University Football (Linebacker)
Alvin Wilson Lexington, Miss. Alcorn State University Football (Linebacker)

 

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NASCAR announces 12 invitees to Drive for Diversity combine

Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
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NASCAR announced the 12 drivers invited to compete for the 2019 Drive for Diversity program on Monday. The dozen drivers have competed on three continents in a variety of racecars.

“The drivers invited to this year’s NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Combine represent a wide range of diverse backgrounds, both in terms of heritage and driving disciplines,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager of racing operations and event management in a press release. “The combine has been tremendous in helping the NASCAR industry identify and develop top diverse talent and this year is no different.”

Rev Racing serves as the on-track partner for the Drive for Diversity program. Since the inception of the program, Rev Racing has earned 19 wins, 88 top fives and 186 top-10 finishes.

The combine will help set their lineup in 2019.

“As we embark upon our 11th year managing the Drive for Diversity program in partnership with NASCAR, we couldn’t be more excited about the evolution of our driver development program,” said Max Siegel, CEO of Rev Racing. “Through selection process and training program we look forward to selecting and developing some of NASCAR’s brightest stars.”

In addition to testing their skill behind the wheel of a racecar, candidates will undergo a physical fitness assessment as well as tests to determine their ability to effective communicate and market sponsors.

This year’s combine invitees include Ruben Garcia Jr. – current points leader in the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series.

Trans Am standout Ernie Francis Jr. will also compete. He has scored four wins in this series in 2018 and currently leads the series standings

Chase Cabre, Juan Manuel González, Loris Hezemans, Perry Patino, Nick Sanchez, Brooke Storer, Ryu Taggart, Gracie Trotter, Ryan Vargas and Brittney Zamora round out the list.

Zamora became the first female driver to win the Northwest Super Late Model Series Championship in 2017.

These hopefuls look to follow in the footsteps of Kyle Larson, Daniel Suarez and Bubba Wallace – all of whom have gone through the program.

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NASCAR America: Drive for Diversity program grows

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Entering its 12th year, Drive for Diversity takes drivers who haven’t had the opportunity to compete in NASCAR and gives them support and training to pick drivers who have the potential to compete at high levels. Max Siegel details the program, which also has a pit crew program.

WATCH LIVE: NASCAR America at 5 pm ET; Mark Martin, Rev Racing, Mayor’s Office

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Today’s NASCAR America airs from 5- 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Host Carolyn Manno will be joined by Parker Kligerman and Max Siegel in Stamford, Connecticut. Jeff Burton, Marty Snider and Mark Martin will join the show from NBC Charlotte with Dale Jarrett at Burton’s garage.

On today’s show:

  • After being named to the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017, Mark Martin joins NASCAR America to discuss making the Hall, the great highlights of his career, and the Xfinity Series, past and present.
  • Rev Racing owner/CEO, Max Siegel explains his mission for NASCAR’s Drive For Diversity program and how it has grown in recent seasons.
  • We’ll highlight two race tracks today, including the K&N Pro Series’ latest venue and the Arkansas track where Mark Martin got his start as a teenager.
  • Back by popular demand, it’s the Mayor’s Office! Our own Jeff Burton leads a discussion on the importance of racing values in a special edition that can’t be missed.

If you’re not near a TV, you can watch online at the NASCAR stream on NBC Sports.

If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Also, an important note: NASCAR America permanently will move to 6 p.m. starting with the Monday, June 13 episode.

Drive For Diversity seeking applicants for October Combine

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If you’re between 15 and 26 years old, the NASCAR-affiliated Drive For Diversity (D4D) is looking for a few good young men and women.

The organization is currently accepting applications for its 12th annual D4D Combine, to be held Oct. 19-21 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.

The deadline to apply online is Sept. 4. Click here to download an application.

“We are very excited to see the applicant pool this year,” Max Siegel, owner of Rev Racing, said in a media release. “The talent level continues to increase every year.

“We have had great success with this program and we will continue to train and place as many drivers as possible into the national series.”

Those that are chosen to take part in the Combine will vie for spots in the 2016 NASCAR D4D class that places drivers with race teams in partnership with Rev Racing.

Among past graduates of the program: Sprint Cup driver Kyle Larson, and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Darrell Wallace Jr. and Daniel Suarez.

Program requirements:

• Be a female or member of one or more of the following ethnic minority classifications: Black or of Black African descent; Asian; Hispanic or Latino; Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; American Indian; Alaskan; Native/Indigenous descent, two or more races (not Hispanic or Latino); or all persons who identify with more than one of these races.

• Ages: 15 to 26 years old as of October 15.

• Be legally eligible to work in the United States; drivers from foreign countries are welcome to apply.

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