DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative is enjoying unparalleled success, led by the accomplishments of Darrell Wallace Jr. and Sergio Peña in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, the process has begun to find the next talented female and minority drivers.
Applications for the 2012 season are now being accepted by NASCAR Drive for Diversity, which creates meaningful opportunities for drivers and crew members. The application form can be accessed at drivefordiversity.ning.com
Top applicants will be invited to the annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine in the fall. The Combine will be used to determine the roster of drivers to compete for Revolution Racing in the 2012 season.
Deadline for applying is July 30. The program is open to female and minorities ages 15-25 (as of Oct. 15, 2011).
“NASCAR has worked diligently to find talented diversity drivers and provide opportunities to showcase their abilities,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president, public affairs and multicultural development. “We are extremely proud of the success the initiative has had to date, and look forward to continuing to work with the team at Revolution Racing to ensure that this important initiative continues to grow and progress.”
In 2010, NASCAR converted the Drive for Diversity program into an academy-style training model where all the drivers would race under one team, Revolution Racing.
Last year’s Combine produced a stellar roster that includes all four Revolution Racing drivers in the top 20 in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East championship point standings this season, including three in the top 12. Revolution Racing drivers have won three of the first seven races.
Wallace, who won the 2010 Sunoco Rookie of the Year while driving for Revolution Racing, picked up his third career series win in May at Richmond International Raceway and is among three drivers within 27 points of the championship lead.
Peña is sixth in points after his second win of the season on June 18 at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. Peña also won earlier this season at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. Ryan Gifford is 12th in points, and Michael Cherry, in his first full season in the series after moving up from Late Models, is 17th. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races next at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday, July 15.
“What we saw at the Combine last fall was an even deeper and more talented group of drivers, and they’re backing that up with their accomplishments on the track,” said Max Siegel, Revolution Racing team owner. “Each year we’ve seen a stronger and stronger crop of drivers vying for the very unique opportunity to be part of Revolution Racing.
“The success of Darrell Wallace, Sergio Peña, Ryan Gifford and the rest of the team, is a tribute to the academy-style format and the support surrounding Revolution Racing that provides female and minority drivers with an opportunity to really showcase their abilities.
“We see the on-track performances being a real catalyst for an even more talented pool of drivers at the Combine in the fall.”
In addition to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series drivers, Revolution Racing fields Late Models for drivers Jorge Arteaga, Mackena Bell, Jessica Brunelli, Trey Gibson, Tayla Orleans and Bryan Ortiz.
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative currently supports drivers in two of NASCAR’s development series – the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Drive for Diversity also supports crew member candidates through a year-long pit crew training program, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Program presented by Sprint.
Crew members have gone on to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.