Kulwicki Driver Development Finalists: The finalists for the 2015 Kulwicki Driver Development Program roster certainly comprise a diverse and talented group. However, there is one huge common denominator between them all: the aspiration to be among the seven-driver inaugural KDDP class. "It's an impressive group for sure," said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. "We have drivers hailing from Florida to Maine, Maine to California and many areas in between. We have both male and female drivers with many short tracks and racing series represented. Their ages range from 15 to 26 and their backgrounds and levels of experience vary greatly. I have personally interviewed each of the drivers and I am inspired by all of their stories. All the drivers in the group would make tremendous representatives for our organization. Our advisory board members definitely have a monumental task in narrowing it down to the seven drivers who will carry our colors this season."
The KDDP was established last year by family members of 1992 NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki as a means to offer assistance to worthy drivers while keeping the late champion's legacy and memory alive. The organization's seven-member advisory board has already reviewed an enormous amount of impressive applications generated with the assistance of official media partner Speed51.com. They have narrowed it down to the drivers listed below and will now tackle the job of naming their seven KDDP drivers.
Those seven drivers will be competing for the inaugural "Kulwicki Cup" during the 2015 season. They will each receive a one-time stipend of $7,777 to cover operational expenses. The organization will work to provide the drivers assistance in important aspects such as publicity, marketing, sponsorship development and industry networking during the season. The Kulwicki Cup winner will be announced in November. That driver will pick up an additional check worth seven times the initial award ($7,777 x 7 = $54,439) and a special trophy during an event honoring the winner in December.
The finalists for the KDDP inaugural class of 2015 are (in alphabetical order):
STEVE APEL, 26, West Bend, Wisconsin
"Racing is not just a sport in my eyes; it is a way of life."
Following in the line of great Slinger Speedway racers like Alan Kulwicki, Conrad Morgan, Lowell Bennett, and Al Schill, Steve Apel has mastered the "World's Fastest Quarter-Mile," winning track championships in 2013 and 2014. A CNC milling machine salesman, Steve is widely respected for his sportsmanship, work ethic and his willingness to promote the track and his fellow competitors whenever possible. In 2015, Steve will again chase the track championship at Slinger and hopes to venture out to other tracks in the area.
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BRAD BABB, 22, Windham, Maine
"I always want to be at the race track. The race track is where I feel at home."
Born into a racing family, Brad Babb has made a name for himself throughout the Northeast, winning the Pro Late Model Series track championship at Beech Ridge (ME) Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Whelen All American Maine State Championship in 2012, the New England Late Model Series championship in 2014 and numerous features in Maine and Vermont. A skilled welder and fabricator, Brad will again chase the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) title in 2015.
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TYLER CHURCH, 26, Hickory, North Carolina
"I want to be the Cinderella story; the local boy who worked hard to make it to the top."
As the driver for an underfunded, family-run team, Tyler Church won the 2014 PASS South Super Late Model Series, overcoming three broken axles in the championship race to take home the title. He is highly respected by his fellow competitors for his determination, clean racing and ability to run competitively on a tight budget. Tyler achieved a lifelong dream late last year when he was hired by Hendrick Motorsports as a fabricator. In 2015, Tyler will compete in the new CARS Super Late Model Series.
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JUSTIN CRIDER, 18, Statesville, North Carolina
"Ever since I was four years old, I knew that all I wanted to do was race."
A freshman engineering student at North Carolina State University, Justin plans on competing in the CARS Late Model Stock Series and selected NASCAR Whelen All American Series races in 2015. Chasing the points championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2013 and 2014, Justin earned numerous top-five finishes while racing against some of the best funded teams in the Southeast. Throughout his career, from go-karts to late models, Justin has driven a black and orange #7 to honor his hero, Alan Kulwicki.
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JOHN DEANGELIS, 20, Hubertus, Wisconsin
"I am a confident, patient and passionate racer that knows what it's like to start at the bottom."
There is no driver better prepared for battle at the Slinger Speedway than John DeAngelis. John earned the 2014 Rookie of the Year at Slinger, his first year in super late models. Known for hardnosed demeanor on track, but a quick smile and generous autograph pen after the races, DeAngelis will chase the ARCA Midwest Tour and the Slinger track championship in 2015.
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DAVE FARRINGTON, JR., 23, Jay, Maine
"Our family owned and operated race team represents the true meaning of local short track racing."
The 2014 NASCAR Whelen All American Maine State Champion, Dave Farrington, Jr. won the track Pro Series championship at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway without winning a race, but with no DNFs. He won three races at Beech Ridge during the 2013 season. At age 15, he had become one of the winningest go-kart racers in New England with 276 feature victories. Dave works as an engineer for General Dynamics at the Bath Iron Works. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Maine in 2013, and is currently pursuing a Master's in Business Administration.
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BLAISE HETZNECKER, 20, Holly Hill, Florida
"We keep our heads up, keep pushing to the next race, and with a never-say-die attitude, we keep racing doing it our way."
An Engineering Technology student at Daytona State College, Blaise Hetznecker is an accomplished dirt and pavement racer. Blaise has won features at New Smyrna Speedway and Volusia Raceway Park, and has earned numerous honors in the karting world. Respected for his work ethic, resourcefulness and hunger for racing knowledge, Blaise has persevered, utilizing limited resources to make it to the track each week. In 2015, Blaise will run for the Pro Late Model Division championship at New Smyrna Speedway.
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SKYLAR HOLZHAUSEN, 25, Sparta, Wisconsin
"A word that describes me is 'perfectionist.' We're so much like Alan in that we've always done the most with the least."
Like many young racers, Skylar comes from a racing family. His grandfather, Bud, raced in the 1950s and his dad, Steve, won several races in both the ARTGO Challenge Series and the original American Speed Association. A welder-fabricator by trade, Skylar earned his associate's degree from Western Wisconsin Technical College. Skylar has won two of the Midwest's biggest short track races; the Dick Trickle '99' at LaCrosse (WI) Speedway's Oktoberfest and the Summer Clash 250 at Elko (MN) Speedway in 2011. In 2015, Skylar hopes to again chase the ARCA Midwest Tour championship.
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TY MAJESKI, 20, Seymour, Wisconsin
"Once you feel are the best and have nothing left to learn, you begin to fall behind; I will always improve, always grow, and turn my goals into reality."
Since jumping into the seat of a super late model in 2012, Ty Majeski has won five races and finished in the top-five 23 times in only 37 races. In 2014, Ty became the youngest champion in the history of the ARCA Midwest Tour, clinching the title at LaCrosse (WI) Speedway's Oktoberfest in a borrowed car after destroying his primary car in a preliminary race. Ty is currently a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in Mechanical Engineering. Ranked #1 among 80,000 drivers on iRacing, an online racing simulator, Ty will again race for the ARCA Midwest Tour title in 2015.
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REAGAN MAY, 21, DePere, Wisconsin
"It is easy to talk about teamwork at the track, but those that teach, live and learn at the shop are the ones that make us who we are."
Committed. Relentless. Conscientious. These are three words frequently used to describe Reagan May, the 2014 TUNDRA Series Rookie of the Year. Reagan won three super late model features last season, and finished fifth in TUNDRA Series points. Reagan has interned at Coleman Racing Products in Menominee, Mich., developing and testing prototype parts and learning how to operate CNC machines. A Mechanical Engineering major at Michigan Tech University, Reagan plans to expand her racing schedule in 2015, competing full time with the TUNDRA series and visiting several new tracks as her budget allows.
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BRYCE NAPIER, 15, Scotts Valley, California
"If a gear needs changing, I crawl underneath, sometimes burning my arm on the hot metal, but allowing nothing to stop me. When I'm finished, I zip my suit back up, climb in, and drive the car."
Wise beyond his years and hungry to learn everything about his race car, 15-year-old Bryce Napier has earned the respect of competitors and fans for his work ethic and dedication to success. Working alone after finishing his homework, Bryce will clean the car from top to bottom, scale the car himself and consult over the phone with his crew chief about gear and sway bar changes. The car is always ready to go when he hits the track. The 2014 Stockton 99 Speedway Rookie of the Year, Bryce works closely with military families through his sponsor, the Support Military Foundation. He looks to build on an already impressive foundation during the 2015 season.
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ALEX PRUNTY, 22, Lomira, Wisconsin
"I see every race as an opportunity to do something incredible and continue the legacy of my family's name."
For third generation racer Alex Prunty, Sunday night at Slinger Speedway is more than just another race; it is a family reunion. Giving each other no quarter on the track, the Pruntys are always there for each other, offering a helping hand at the track and the race shop. Growing up working on the championship-winning cars of his three racing uncles, Alex will race a super late model full time in 2015, moving up after winning a 2012 track championship in the late model division. When not at the track, Alex is a Research and Development Engineer at Briggs & Stratton Corporation.
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DJ WELTMEYER, 22, Dyer, Indiana
"Racing and competing are part of me; they are in my blood and always have been."
The son of multi-time ARCA race winner Dave Weltmeyer, DJ Weltmeyer - "The Dyer Flyer" - is carrying on a family tradition of competing at Grundy County Speedway and Illiana Motor Speedway. An engineering student at Purdue University- Calumet, DJ is an eager learner outside of the classroom, building shocks for local racers and testing experimental suspension components on his own race car. Known for his clean racing and perseverance, DJ hopes to race at Grundy County and Illiana again in 2015. He looks to also race with the ARCA Midwest Tour and the ARCA CRA Super Series as his schedule and budget allow.
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COLE WILLIAMS, 18, Sellersburg, Indiana
"Working hard is the key to success; there is no other way to make it in this sport."
When there is no local short track, a racer will go to great lengths to compete. In 2014, Cole Williams traveled seven hours each way to the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway and won the track championship It's a cherished honor shared by NASCAR legends Darrell Waltrip and Sterling Marlin. A year earlier, Cole won the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Missouri State Championship and track championship at I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Mo., some six hours from home. A Journalism major at Indiana University- Southeast, Cole will race his family's car at Nashville again in 2015, while also running several Late Model Stock races in Virginia and North Carolina.
The selection process to determine the KDDP drivers for 2015 is expected to be completed in the next 10 days. The seven-driver lineup is scheduled to be announced during the first week of March.(KDDP)(2-20-2015)
MDM Hillman Racing to campaign #40 NASCAR K&N Pro East Development Team: MDM Hillman Racing, a joint partnership between NASCAR veteran Mike Hillman and Virginia businessmen and Doug Fuller and Matthew Miller, will compete in the 2015 NASCAR K&N Pro Series fielding the #40 entry beginning with this weekend's season-opening event at New Smyrna Speedway with driver Travis Miller. MDM was established in the off-season as a development team that will further groom the talent pool in the NASCAR arena for both drivers and crew members.
"Our focus is to help form and sculpt the skills of racers, mechanics and engineers attempting to take the next step in their motorsports careers," said partner Doug Fuller. "We will get started February 15th at the first race on the NASCAR K&N East Series schedule at the famed short track New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, with former Hooters Pro Cup driver Travis Miller of Chesapeake, Virginia, behind the wheel."
The MDM Hillman Racing team will be headquartered in Mooresville, N.C., in close proximity to the Hillman Smith Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation, which operates the #40 driven by Landon Cassill. Doug Chouinard, a long-time mechanic and crew chief in the K&N Pro Series, will lead the team. Chouinard scored two victories in 2014 (Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Dover International Speedway) with driver Austin Self and has totaled 12 victories working with such notable drivers as Corey LaJoie and Ted Christopher. CRC, a manufacturer of an extensive arsenal of automotive maintenance products, will showcase its industry-leading CRC Brakleen Brake Parts Cleaner with Miller behind the wheel of #40 CRC BRAKLEEN Chevrolet in Sunday's Hart to Heart Breast Cancer Foundation 150.(Mike Hillman Racing)(2-15-2015)
Grant Galloway Joins Racer Advancement Program: Integrity Sports Marketing announced that Grant Galloway has joined the company's recently announced Racer Advancement Program (RAP). Galloway, a native of Lakeville, Indiana, will compete in the 2015 CARS Super Late Model Tour in a unique partnership between RAP and LFR Chassis Driver Development Program. The 20-year-old Galloway began his racing career in quarter midgets at the age of nine. He earned 45 feature wins, multiple track records, and multiple track championships before advancing on to the USAC Kenyon midget series at the age of 13. His success would continue as he climbed through sprint cars and late models before receiving his NASCAR approval which led to a start at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the age of 18. While he is busy chasing his dream, Grant is also busy finishing up his education. He will graduate this spring from Grace College in Indiana with a Bachelors of Science in Business Marketing. Galloway will look to use that valuable education as he focuses on the business end of racing as well as performing on the track. The 2015 CARS Super Late Model Tour will begin its season on March 28th at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, NC. The Tour schedule will include stops at such tracks as Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA and Myrtle Beach (SC) Speedway.(Racer Advancement Program)(2-12-2015)
RCR Names Kate Dallenbach to Driver Development Program: Richard Childress Racing and Team Dillon Racing have named Kate Dallenbach as one of two female drivers in their development program for the 2015 season. The other driver joining the program is 14 year-old Ahnna Parkhurst. Dallenbach, 17, is the daughter of Wally, Jr., NASCAR driver-turned-broadcaster, and Robin Dallenbach, a former driver herself with two starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Her grandfather, Wally Dallenbach, Sr., was a successful Indy car driver and Chief Steward. The student of Davidson Day High School will compete in dirt and asphalt races under the RCR banner driving cars built and maintained by Team Dillon Racing.
"Some RCR and TDR members and I have been watching Kate for several years and have been impressed with her driving ability," said Richard Childress, CEO and Chairman of RCR. "She is a quality driver in races and the results from her testing dirt Late Models have been very positive. I look forward to what the future holds for Kate and we will do all we can to help her succeed." Dallenbach started racing Quarter Midgets at age eight and was the 2007 Texas Regional Champion in two different divisions. Dallenbach also competed in Bandoleros at Texas Motor Speedway in 2008 and was part of the Lyn St. James Driver Academy in 2010.
In 2011, she earned championship and rookie of the year honors in the Allison Legacy Series at Thunderhill (Tex.) Raceway. Dallenbach tested dirt Late Models for RCR/TDR in 2013 and drove Whelen Late Models at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway capturing Rookie of the Year honors and finishing second in points. Last year, she raced 10 events for RCR/TDR at Boyd (Ga.) Speedway and ran 15 asphalt Late Model races for Lee Faulk Racing at various tracks in the Southeast. For the 2015 season, Dallenbach will increase her schedule to more than 20 events with Faulk and 10 races on dirt for RCR/TDR at Boyd Speedway. "I am honored and looking forward to being a larger part of RCR's Driver Development Program this year," Dallenbach said. "As a driver, I'm looking forward to improving my racing skills and winning some dirt and asphalt races. I hope to start testing Trucks in the future, as well. I can't thank Richard (Childress), Mike (Dillon) and Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shops enough for this opportunity." Dallenbach currently has sponsorship from SHE Outdoor Ladies Hunting Clothing from Bass Pro Shops.(RCR)(1-29-2015)
RCR Names Ahnna Parkhurst to Driver Development Program: Richard Childress Racing and Team Dillon Racing have named Ahnna Parkhurst as one of two female drivers in their development program for the 2015 season. The other driver joining the program is 17-year-old Kate Dallenbach. Parkhurst, 14, is an Augusta, Ga. native and is entering her second season of competitive racing. The student at Riverside Middle School will compete in dirt Crate Late Models under the RCR banner driving cars built and maintained by Team Dillon Racing this year. "Ahnna has an incredible natural talent and absorbs everything she can to become a better driver every time she races," said Richard Childress, CEO and Chairman of RCR. "Everything I have seen and heard about her racing has been positive. She is going to learn and improve even more this year on the dirt tracks and I look forward to watching that progress." Parkhurst competed in 42 Mini Outlaws race last season, winning 13 and finishing second in 12 of them at Millbridge (N.C.) Speedway. This year, her schedule calls for 40 races in RCR/TDR Crate Dirt Late Models at Boyd (Ga.) Speedway, Swainsboro (Ga.) Speedway and Modoc (S.C.) Speedway. "I raced just about every other Wednesday night from March until November of last year," Parkhurst said. "RCR and TDR said they are going to give me their best effort to be competitive and try and win races. It's up to me to give them my best efforts in return. "This is a great opportunity and I can't thank Richard, TDR and my sponsors enough for making me part of the team. Austin and Ty Dillon have already been very supportive and I have learned a lot from them this past year." Parkhurst will have sponsorship from LauriesFund.org, Tgen, Hunt Brothers Pizza and Bad Boy Buggies.(RCR)(1-29-2015)
Kulwicki Driver Development Program driver selection in full swing: The process to select the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) competitors for the 2015 season is currently in full swing. The program was established last year by family members of 1992 NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki as a means to offer assistance to worthy drivers while keeping the late champion's legacy and memory alive. The organization's seven-member advisory board is narrowing down an impressive huge group of applicants to its seven-driver KDDP roster for 2015. The selected drivers will receive financial and professional assistance during their upcoming racing seasons. They will be competing for the inaugural "Kulwicki Cup" which will be awarded this December. "Both the quantity and quality of applicants we received were extremely impressive," said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. "It is such a diverse group when you consider age, level of racing experience and need for assistance. We are so proud to have Speed51.com as our official media partner. I want to personally thank Bob Dillner and his Speed51.com staff for their help in getting the word out and encouraging so many drivers to send in applications. Our board is currently in the first stage of a three-phase judging process. The first chore is to whittle the group down to 14 finalists. I can attest to what a difficult procedure that is. I don't have voting power, but I did a mock challenge and found it to be almost impossible. When our board decides the 14 finalists, we will interview all of those drivers on an individual basis. Then in the final phase, the board will select the seven competitors who will be carrying the KDDP colors this year." Board members are considering criteria that include relevant experience, community engagement, program fit and character, appreciation for the Kulwicki legacy and financial need in their evaluation procedure.
"The KDDP is so unique compared to other development programs out there today," Roberts said. "Due to the graciousness of the Kulwicki family, there is no financial requirement from our participants. We are a non-profit organization. It is our mission to assist aspiring racers in achieving their goals while educating other generations about Alan Kulwicki along the way. It has been such a pleasure to be a member of the KDDP team and I know Alan would be so proud and supportive of what we are doing", said Roberts, who served as Kulwicki's advisor and public relations representative throughout his NASCAR career. "When I was doing my mock top-14 list, I gauged it on who I thought Alan would select to be among the group. He valued hard work and deemed dedication and determination as imperative. Even the standards we will utilize in determining our 'Kulwicki Cup' winner this season will be unique. Our evaluation will not focus solely on results on the race track. The method we employ will also consider what the seven drivers do off the track. Community service, effectiveness in representing our organization, social media involvement and overall character are aspects that will be included in the equation. I have been professionally involved in racing in some manner for 38 years now and the KDDP has been my most intriguing project so far. I am convinced that short track racing is in great shape as for talented drivers who have so much potential. I know there will never truly be another Alan Kulwicki, but it will be so much fun searching for the racer who best replicates his innate drive and competitive spirit this year."
The seven KDDP drivers will each receive a one-time stipend of $7,777 to cover operational expenses. The organization will work to provide the drivers assistance in important aspects such as publicity, marketing, sponsorship development and industry networking during the season. The Kulwicki Cup winner will be announced in November. That driver will pick up an additional check worth seven times the initial award ($7,777 x 7 = $54,439) and a special trophy during an event honoring the winner in December. The selection process to determine the KDDP drivers for 2015 is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The seven-driver lineup is scheduled to be announced during the third week of February.(TRPR)(1-29-2015)
New Names Fill 2015 NASCAR Drive For Diversity Roster: NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D), the leading developmental platform for female and multicultural drivers and pit crew members, announced its 2015 class today. The program welcomes four talented program newcomers to the roster of six drivers striving to transition into the sport's national series spotlight. Rev Racing, the program's competition arm, has played a key role in the development of 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Darrell Wallace Jr. and Daniel Suarez.
"Taking steps to find and develop young female and multicultural athletes who could represent the future of NASCAR is at the core of our organization's mission," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "We were impressed by the talent displayed at the Combine [in October of 2014], and are eager to help this group develop their strengths on and off the track."
Rev Racing will field four teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and two in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The 2015 class is led by returning K&N Pro Series East driver Jay Beasley and Devon Amos, who after an impressive 2014 performance in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series earned a spot in the K&N Pro Series East.
The 2015 NASCAR D4D roster includes:
Devon Amos: Returning to the team, the 23-year-old Rio Rancho, New Mexico, native will make the jump to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East after two full seasons in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Jay Beasley: Finishing 13th overall and sixth in a loaded Sunoco Rookie of the Year field in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last season, the 23-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada will return for a second season, aiming to best his rookie campaign.
Collin Cabre: After an impressive NASCAR D4D Combine performance, the 21-year-old Thonotosassa, Florida, native will compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in his first year with Rev Racing. Cabre has spent the past five years racing asphalt and dirt sprint cars.
Natalie Decker: A 17-year-old newcomer to the Rev Racing roster from Eagle River, Wisconsin, Decker collected feature wins in a limited late model and super late model, as well as earning Rookie and Sportsman of the Year honors in ARCA SCAG Midwest Truck Tour. She will compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in 2015.
Kenzie Ruston: Entering her third season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and first with Rev Racing, the 22-year-old El Reno, Oklahoma, native is also a member of NASCAR Next, an industry initiative to identify tomorrow's stars. Ruston broke her own record in 2014 as the highest finishing female driver in the K&N Pro Series East with a runner-up finish at Iowa Speedway on her way to finishing ninth in points.
Dylan Smith: The 22-year-old from Randolph, Vermont earned a spot with Rev Racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series after competing in his own Late Model last year. The Stewart-Haas Racing employee ran 15 races and finished 38th in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings.
Under Rev Racing owner and CEO Max Siegel's leadership, the development program aligns drivers with a team of executives, athletic directors, crew chiefs and mentors tasked with helping NASCAR D4D drivers achieve career successes; thus, improving their goal of reaching one of NASCAR's three national series. "NASCAR Drive for Diversity goes much deeper than putting drivers behind the wheel of race cars," said Siegel. "The program is all encompassing, providing competition, athletic training and professional development opportunities for drivers who have the determination and talent to reach NASCAR's top levels. We've seen this with Larson, Suarez and Wallace Jr. and are excited about the potential of this talented group of drivers." Growth of the program extends to pit crew members under the NASCAR D4D Crew Member Development Program, also managed by Siegel. In 2014, more than 30 multicultural athletes pitted fulltime for teams across all three national series.(NASCAR/Rev Racing)(1-27-2015)
LFR Driver Development Group formed: LFR Chassis has announced the formation of the LFR Driver Development Group, a company that will provide professional and experienced coaching with state of the art race cars for developing drivers in all late model and modified divisions nationwide. The company's goal is to provide top-level racing experience and equipment to drivers looking to progress through the motorsports ranks. LFR Chassis has quickly made a mark in the short track racing industry by providing top notch equipment along with a racing staff that is unparalleled in the industry.
Four racing veterans will lead the group: Rob Fuller, Tony Eury Jr., Jeff Fultz and Ryan Stone. From Daytona International Speedway to Hickory Motor Speedway, these racing veterans have collectively won more than three dozen championships and over 700 victories at the highest level of motorsports, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to new drivers.
Rob Fuller, owner of LFR Chassis, was born into a racing family, but made a name for himself in NASCAR by winning at the top levels as a driver, engineer, and pit crew member for teams including Penske Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Fuller's 25 years of racing experience and innovative approach to building racecar chassis led to the creation of LFR Chassis.
Tony Eury Jr. is the competition director at LFR Chassis and brings over 20 years of experience working at the top levels of NASCAR as a crew chief, car chief, mechanic and tire changer. He has lead the top teams in motorsports - including Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports - to numerous wins and championships.
Jeff Fultz has 30 years of experience in racing as a driver, car chief and builder. He has 10 championships to his name and over 250 wins throughout his career. Fultz is a three-time champion and all time wins leader in the NASCAR All Pro Series.
Ryan Stone is a championship winning crew chief in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour. He has been racing for 18 years and has a decade of experience specifically in modified racing as a driver, car chief and crew chief.
"With the experience level of our coaches and quality of equipment, we are taking a huge variable out of the developmental stages of a driver's progression," said Rob Fuller. "We have all wished at some point of our career to have the best equipment and most knowledgeable crew so we can test our driving ability, and all that is under one roof. We have worked closely with the NASCAR community throughout our 20 plus year careers, and know what it takes to succeed in this ultra-competitive sport."
The LFR Driver Development Group will utilize equipment and racecars from LFR Chassis. These chassis were designed and constructed by some of the best racing minds in the industry. The group will offer several different packages for all experience levels. "What will be great about our program is that we will have entry level to pro level classes available," said Jeff Fultz. "Some drivers might only drive a few races while others will continue through a few seasons. All this depends on the talent level shown throughout the year. We expect this to be a high-profile driver development program within the industry in a short amount of time. We've made heads turn with our progress at LFR Chassis and expect to do the same with this program."
The LFR Driver Development Group will also offer marketing and communications support for this next generation of drivers. Nealie Stufflet, a veteran NASCAR public relations professional, partnered with LFR Chassis in its inception to offer PR, social media and sponsorship services to its customers and will do the same for the development drivers. Interview skills training, media coaching and landscape insight will also be offered. "We created this group to help those looking for the right place to find a combination of unparalleled experience in NASCAR and top level equipment for drivers looking to take their careers to the next level," said Fuller. "We have two drivers signed up as of today and will announce the full team when all seats are occupied." To get in contact with the LFR Driver Development Group, please contact Rob Fuller at email@example.com.(LFR Chassis)(1-3-2015)
David Gilliland Racing Expands with Driver Development Program: David Gilliland Racing (DGR) is capping its successful 2014 season with the announcement of an expansion. The Mooresville, N.C.-based team now offers a driver development program that will field a second car for the 2015 season in Late Model and Super Late Model competition. DGR is seeking young, up-and-coming talent to join the program. DGR is owned and operated by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Gilliland and his wife, Michelle. The team has run a successful program since 1998, racing in weekly division events at the grassroots level to regional touring series at asphalt and dirt tracks around the country. The Gillilands' 14-year-old son, Todd, made his mark driving the DGR No. 98 in 2014, including earning his first Late Model pole and win in May in just his seventh start in a stock car. The organization is now ready to field a second, equally competitive team for a motivated, funded driver looking to transition from Karts, Legends or Sprint cars to bigger, NASCAR-style race cars. The DGR team will maintain, house, transport and direct every aspect of the racing program, including the providing of top-level equipment, experienced crew chief and spotter, and personal coaching from David Gilliland. "When we built our program, we made sure we did it right," Gilliland said. "We ensured we had the best equipment and the best experience put together to offer someone the best opportunity to showcase their talent. We're eager to talk with young racers, their families and their marketing partners to show how we can help them take their careers to the next level." Contact info at davidgillilandracing.com.(DGR PR)(12-28-2014)
Kulwicki Driver Development Program Details Announced: Officials of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) announced the details of their exciting new program today. The specifics call for the organization to select seven drivers who will contend for the inaugural "Kulwicki Cup" during the 2015 racing season.
The KDDP was established earlier this year by the family of late NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki. The organization's mission is to help worthy drivers along the way in reaching their dream, while at the same time keeping alive Alan's memory and legacy. "The operating point for all of our activities will revolve around the number 7," said Tom Roberts, executive director of the KDDP. "Not only does every race fan out there associate Alan with that number, it also has incredible significance elsewhere. In numerology, the number 7 represents the thinker and the seeker. Those were certainly descriptive of Alan. Many say there is even something spiritual about the number."
"We will be selecting seven drivers from the applications we collect to vie for our inaugural Kulwicki Cup award," said Roberts. "Each of the seven drivers will receive a one-time stipend of $7,777 early in the season. The Kulwicki Cup winner will pick up an additional check worth seven times that amount ($7,777 x 7 = $54,439). There will also be a really cool trophy and special surprises in store for our Kulwicki Cup recipient. The financial support we will be offering to the selected drivers will come in handy in covering things like entry fees and operational expenses, but that's only the beginning. We will also be assisting those seven drivers in other important aspects in racing such as publicity, marketing, sponsorship development and industry networking."
The KDDP is a non-profit organization made up of a small staff and management team. The program has an advisory board comprised of seven members. The group includes Kulwicki's former colleagues, members of the racing community and legal, financial and accounting professionals.
"We have an extremely well-rounded team affiliated with the KDDP and our group can offer so much support to aspiring young racers," said Roberts. "There are many drivers out there who have the potential to be successful. It is our mission to be instrumental in helping them achieve their goals. It is due to the graciousness and dedication of the Kulwicki Family that the KDDP was founded. We are committed to helping drivers in numerous ways, while at the same time keeping Alan's dream alive. We hope to educate many about who Alan was and what he stood for along the way. It promises to be a fun and rewarding journey."
The selection of the seven KDDP drivers will be done via an application basis. All the applications received will be reviewed by the organization and the seven drivers will be named early next February. The application form can be downloaded or requested on the official KDDP website (www.KulwickiDDP.com). The deadline for receiving entries is Friday, Dec. 26, 2014.(TRPR)(11-26-2014)
More info on the Kulwicki Driver Development Program: The Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) has been established by the family of late NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki to help worthy drivers along the way in reaching their dream, while at the same time keeping alive Alan's memory and legacy.
The program will provide assistance to up-and-coming racers in several different ways. A one-time stipend will provide financial support in covering operational expenses, transportation costs, entry fees and assistance with necessary equipment. Staff and friends of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program will assist participants in areas such as sponsorship development; publicity, marketing, social media, business education, industry networking and relationship building.
KDDP is aimed at the "grass roots" racer. The program hopes to identify and assist a driver in the early stages of his or her career. While Alan Kulwicki did it "his way," going from a track champion at Slinger (WI) Speedway, to winning American Speed Association (ASA) races across the United States, to an owner-driver on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit in just a few short years. Only through Alan's drive, his determination, and the dedication of a handful of talented crew members was he able to become the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Champion.
The Kulwicki Driver Development Program hopes to play a significant role in developing the next generation of America's short track racers, serving as a steward not only for Alan's legacy, but for the growth of asphalt late model racing. If Alan were with us today, he would have his eye on the short tracks, looking for the next young racer with the drive to succeed. Through strategic partnerships and relationships, the KDDP hopes to become a crucial link in helping a handful of young men and women achieve their racing dreams.
Drivers will have experience in late model racing. There is no age limit, but preference will be given to candidates between the ages of 18 and 25.
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--7 drivers from across the nation will be selected by the KDDP to contend for the "Kulwicki Cup."
--One-time stipend to each competitor of $7,777 at beginning of 2015 racing season
--Aforementioned support to the 7 drivers throughout season.
--7 drivers selected agree to abide by rules & regulations established by KDDP. Included in agreement will be mandatory ID on car & driver's uniform and code of conduct.
--"Kulwicki Cup" winner is not totally based on their on-track results, but on their overall "performance" on and off the track. The winner, selected by the KDDP (with potential involvement from fans/media/general public) best exemplifies the "Alan Kulwicki style" of competitor.
--Voting will be done on quarterly basis and results publicized in far-reaching manner including news releases, web sites and social media platforms.
--Winner will be announced on November 7, 2015.
--"Kulwicki Cup" winner receives check for $7,777 X 7 ($54,439), distinctive trophy & more.
--Winner will be honored at "Kulwicki Cup" dinner/banquet held on December 14th (Alan's birthday) at selected location to be announced during the 2015 season.
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The application form and other information on the KDDP is currently available on the official website at www.KulwickiDDP.com
CURRENT KDDP TEAM ROSTER:
Executive Director: Tom Roberts, 35-year motorsports industry veteran, with broad-based experience working with sponsors, drivers, teams and race tracks.
1) Jan Beatty, Senior Trust Officer, Wells Fargo
2) Mark R.A. Horn, Member, Moore & Van Allen PLLC
Advisory Board Members: (additional information available on KDDP site)
1) Paul Andrews, former crew chief for Alan Kulwicki's 1992 NASCAR Championship team and now general manager of Cunningham Motorsports
2) Dennis Czarnyszka, a former American Bowling Congress (ABC) marketing executive who was instrumental in helping promote Kulwicki throughout his career
3) Tony Gibson, former car chief for Alan Kulwicki's 1992 NASCAR Championship team and now crew chief for Kurt Busch's No. 41 NASCAR Sprint Cup Team at SHR
4) Tom Grady, motorsports law "pioneer" who has been actively involved in racing for 30 years
5) Fr. Dale Grubba, a Wisconsin priest, author of several motorsports books including the comprehensive book on Alan Kulwicki ("Alan Kulwicki, NASCAR Champion: Against All Odds") and acclaimed racing photographer
6) Jim "Thumper" Rauth, longtime Kulwicki family friend who was involved in the Alan Kulwicki Park and Brooks Pavilion projects and remains active with them today
7) Carter Thompson, a partner in a prominent Charlotte public accounting firm who has 19 years of experience and has worked closely with clients in the motorsports and automotive industry.(TRPR)(11-26-2014)
Integrity Sports Marketing Announces Racer Advancement Program: Integrity Sports Marketing, a full service marketing firm, has established a one-of-a-kind program that will advance the careers of young drivers with a star studded team providing advice and a clear path to the upper ranks of NASCAR - The Racer Advancement Program. After spending over 15 years in NASCAR garages, local tracks, and race team shops, Brent Bushu, owner of Integrity Sports Marketing realized that future racers need a better support system in order to reach their dreams. The Racer Advancement Program focuses on the entire spectrum of what it takes to make it to NASCAR's top levels. A young racer's brand will be established and awareness will be built through exposure in the right places. The program offers something that no other program offers. First, we offer advice from an advisory board of NASCAR drivers, crew chiefs, owners, media personnel, and sponsor representatives. Secondly, a clearly defined path is established to move from where the driver is today to where the racer wants to be tomorrow.
Integrity Sports Marketing has partnered with leading experts in the motorsports world who will serve as members of the "Racer Advisory Board" for this program. This will entail a monthly conference call between program participants and a different member of the "Advisory Board" as well as special guests. This will serve as a one-of-a-kind platform for advice and suggestions for program participants. The "Racer Advisory Board" members will also be available for further support outside of this monthly conference call and be a tremendous resource for career and racing advice.
The Racer Advisory Panel includes advice from several industry experts including:
Tommy Baldwin - Sprint Cup Team Owner, Tommy Baldwin Racing #7 & #36 entries
Frank Stoddard - Fourteen-time race winning NASCAR crew chief and NBC NASCAR Analyst
Hermie Sadler - Current NASCAR driver, Fox Sports NASCAR Analyst and owner of Hermie Sadler Karting and Premier Racing Chassis
"This program is different than anything I've seen in my career," states Tommy Baldwin. "It provides the essential marketing and media support needed for young racer. A career path is identified from karting, late models, NASCAR Asphalt & Dirt Modifieds, ARCA and K&N Series all the way up to NASCAR's three national touring series. It does all of this with the support of a leading motorsports marketing company combined with a group of my colleagues with years of advice to give back to the racers of tomorrow."
The Racer Advancement Program provides branding, partnership development, motorsports connections, website development and maintenance, social media implementation, public relations and other services that will advance a young racers career. Limited spots are available for the 2015 Program. For more information on the Racer Advancement Program visit www.WinningWithIntegrity.com.(11-6-2014)
Drive for Diversity Combine set: 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.
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.
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 Peņa 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.TVfor the live streaming schedule of the Combine.(NASCAR)(9-30-2014)