2008 Development Drivers / Drive for Diversity
News & Links
Development drivers linked with Sprint Cup, Nationwide or Truck Teams
& Drive for Diversity Updates
- Koch named as development driver for RCR: The San Francisco based Golden Gate Racing Team is proud to announce Blake Koch as their primary driver for the 2009 racing season in the NASCAR Camping World Grand National West Series. A resident of West Palm Beach, Florida , Koch will drive the #21 GodSpeaks.com Chevrolet for the popular Richard Childress Racing Development team owned and operated by San Francisco businessman Jim Offenbach. Following his impressive run at Roseville and a handful of testing sessions, Koch was named the new primary driver by Offenbach earlier this month and will replace former driver David Mayhew for the 2009 racing season. After the Christmas holiday, the Golden Gate Racing Team will begin testing at various NASCAR tracks to prepare for the upcoming season which will begin in late January with the NASCAR Toyota All Star Showdown at Irwindale Speedway. Both Koch and Austin Dillon, the 18-year-old grandson of NASCAR team owner Richard Childress, will test at various facilities.(BlakeKoch.com)(12-29-2008)
- Dillon to run 7 races in 2009: Austin Dillon, the 18-year-old grandson of NASCAR Sprint Cup team owner Richard Childress, said Tuesday that he will attempt to qualify for seven Nationwide Series races next season. Dillon made two Nationwide starts in 2008, coming home 26th at Richmond and fourth at Memphis, in addition to a full season in NASCAR’s Camping World East Series. The son of RCR Vice President of Competition Mike Dillon plans to run the entire Camping World East slate once again in 2009 in addition to the seven Nationwide races, which will preserve his rookie status in the series for 2010, when he hopes to run a full schedule. Dillon is uncertain which races he’ll run – he is still waiting on NASCAR approval to compete at the two superspeedways, Talladega and Daytona – but says Richmond and Iowa Speedway will likely be among them. In 2009, Dillon expects to share seat time with another driver in the #21 Nationwide entry for RCR. That’s the number his father used when he last drove for the organization in 2001.(Scene Daily)(12-16-2008)
- JGR will again give ASA Track Champion a tryout in 2009: The American Speed Association has announced that Joe Gibbs Racing through its Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil will once again offer the 2009 ASA Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Member Track National Champion a tryout with one of the more successful teams in NASCAR. For the second year in a row, one Driver who races weekly at one of the ASA Member Tracks will receive an opportunity of a lifetime. Last year, the American Speed Association introduced a new unique point system to help determine the National Champion out of its 35 member tracks in the United States. The program proved to be successful and will return next year for he ASA Member Tracks.(ASA Racing PR)(12-15-2008)
- Other 2008 News: Past 2008 driver development news can be viewed on the 2008 Driver Development News Page.(1-22-2009)
- ASA Champion Stapp awarded tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing: Cary Stapp, the 2008 American Speed Association Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Member Track National Champion, got his opportunity to tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing, one of his awards for being the National Champion. The three-day adventure started on Monday morning as Dennis Huth, American Speed Association President, met the Stapps at the airport and was their personal host. The three went to Gibbs Nationwide Series shop where Stapp got fitted in the two cars that he would be testing in on Wednesday [South Boston Speedway]. American Speed Association National Short Track National Championship. Under sunny skies and cold temps, Stapp was able to run over 100 laps in testing two different Camping World Series cars. One was a former Denny Hamlin car and another was a former Tony Stewart car according to Stapp. At the end of the day, the dream was realized and a weekly competitor got its opportunity. What the future holds for Stapp, only time will tell. But, overall Cary and Kelli Stapp will have stories to share for a lifetime.(ASA-racing.com)(11-21-2008)
- 12 Women drivers confirmed for Lyn St. James' Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation Driver Academy: Twelve young women drivers accepted invitations from Lyn St. James to participate in the 15th class of the Women in the Winner's Circle (WWC) Foundation Complete Driver Academy, which is a comprehensive educational and training program for
Talented women race drivers who aspire to the professional levels of motorsports. The first Academy session is November 14 - 16 at Athlete's Performance Institute and Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. The class members in the 2008/2009 WWC Foundation Complete Driver Academy include:
Ciara Cass McCoy, 16 (Colebrook, NH)
Kaley Engstrom, 13 (Rhome, TX)
Courtney Hardin, 16 (Tarboro, NC)
Shea Holbrook, 18 (Groveland, FL)
Kim Hughes, 18 (Maybee, MI)
Taryn Laskey, 22 (Tulsa, OK)
Kayle Mincey, 17 (Lower Lake, CA)
Sheila Nash, 28 (Orange County, CA)
Marisa Niederauer, 22 (Levitown, NY)
Gabriella Robles, 16 (Nuevo, CA)
Heidi Tresler, 18 (Victorville, CA)
Kristina Vorndran, 14 (Charlton, MA)
Also in Arizona this weekend, select drivers from the 2007-2008 class were invited to complete their third and final session of the Academy, the on-track road course and technical program, at the Bondurant School at Firebird International Raceway. Last month these drivers attended the
Finish Line Racing School in Edgewater, FL for oval track training. The drivers completing their final session are:
Jessica Brunelli, 15 (Hayward, CA)
Kristin Bumbera, 19 (Sealy, TX)
Tiffany Daniels, 22 (Concord, NC)
Ashley Freiberg, 18 (Homer Glen, IL)
Brianna Hershey, 27 (Dillsburg, PA)
Kristy Kester, 20 (College Station, TX)
Molly Rhoads, 26 (Goodhue, MN)
Natalie Sather, 23 (Fargo, NC)
Trista Stevenson, 18 (Pocahontas, IL)
More information about the Women's in the Winner's Circle Foundation, Project Podium and the Driver Development Academy can be found at LynStJames.com.(WWCF PR)(11-13-2008)
- Second annual Driver Advancement Marketing Summit scheduled: The second annual Driver Advancement Marketing Summit, scheduled January 24-25, 2009, will be comprised of motorsports industry leaders who will speak on issues most critical to off-track development of race car drivers seeking to pursue a professional motorsports career. Jim Hunter, NASCAR vice president of corporate communications and one of the most accomplished professionals in all of motorsports, will discuss NASCAR's various developmental series and share invaluable information for drivers looking for opportunities to "make it" in the sport. Other speakers include Tom Deery, CEO of DIRT Racing and one of the leading "grassroots-to professional-racing" industry leaders. SPEED TV's Ray Dunlap, who interviews many rookie and veteran drivers alike in covering NASCAR's Truck Series and ARCA, will talk about interviewing and how drivers represent sponsors in front of the camera and through public relations efforts. Dunlap will offer specific examples and will demonstrate interviewing techniques. Tony Blanchard is the former crew chief for Joey Logano in both the ASA and USAR Pro-Cup Series; he worked with the Joe Gibbs Racing driver development program, and currently owns and operates TB Development in Mooresville, N.C., which specializes in working with young up and coming drivers in stock car racing. For more information and a full list of speakers or to register for the Summit, please visit performanceprplus.com and click on the Driver Advancement Marketing Summit link or call 704-377-8727.(Performance Plus PR)(11-11-2008)
- Colangelo signs with Mark Martin development program again in 2009: After signing as a development driver for NASCAR legend Mark Martin, Jeremy Colangelo backed it up with countless strong runs, including a pair of victories that could propel him to a Late Model Championship. Because of those performances, team owner Mark Martin has decided to have Colangelo return as his development driver at Mark Martin Performance for 2009. Team owner Mark Martin is moving to Hendrick Motorsports for a full season of competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2009. Now Martin hopes to bring Colangelo along to the next level in Super Late Model racing. Colangelo will run the balance of the FASCAR Sunbelt Super Late Model season in 2009. Along with those events, he will also run the Blizzard Series at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola , Florida . Other Super Late Model events will include the Snowball Derby and the All American 400, in Nashville , TN. Other events could be added to their schedule as well.(Jeremy.Colangelo.net)(11-11-2008)
- ASA member Track Champion Stapp to tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing: Cary Stapp, the 2008 American Speed Association Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil Member Track National Champion, is keeping a close eye on his calendar and getting anxious as he is getting close to his tryout with Joe Gibbs Racing. Stapp will get his opportunity to show his talents on Wednesday, November 19th at South Boston Motor Speedway in South Boston, VA. Stapp will have a busy three days ahead of him. On Monday, November 17th, Stapp will go to the Joe Gibbs Racing shop where he will receive a tour, get fitted in the car he will be testing, meet with representatives from Joe Gibbs Driven Racing Oil, and JD Gibbs. His goal is to get into Gibbs development program but he is honored at just having the opportunity to showcase his talents to one of the top teams in NASCAR. "If anything, I am going to come away with a lot great memories, like I said earlier this is a once in a lifetime opportunity." Stapp is a full-time electrician who is married to his wife Kelli and has a 13-year-old stepson named Trey and a 10-year-old daughter Mikala.(ASA Racing)(11-10-2008)
- Ray selected as first diversity apprentice for MWR: Michael Waltrip Racing has announced that Josh Ray is the diversity apprentice selected from Toyota's Technician Training and Education Network alumni program. American Indian descendant and Oklahoma-native Ray will relocate to North Carolina to begin a one year, technical position within the MWR organization, directly involved with the teams' NASCAR participation beginning on Monday, November 10, 2008. The three-part position will include rotations with Michael Waltrip Racing's tear down area, electronics department and also in the suspension department. "NASCAR is committed to further diversifying our sport and we are excited to have TMS and MWR join forces in this innovative program," said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR Managing Director of Public Affair. "Toyota is a long time supporter of diversity efforts and the TMS/MWR partnership is an important next step in creating new opportunities and building greater awareness of careers in NASCAR and the automotive industry."(Toyota Motorsports PR)(11-6-2008)
- Baker Curb Racing signs Martins to development program: Baker Curb Racing announced today that Mississippi native Tommy Joe Martins has been selected as the first driver to compete full-time in the Camping World East Series in 2009. In 2008, Martins returned back to his racing roots competing in SCCA Road Racing - T2 Class driving a Nissan 350Z. In his first season back on the track in years, Martins notched five wins, two second places and set track records at four track in just seven races. In late October, Martins signed with Baker Curb Racing to begin preparation for the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Series East season.(Baker Curb Racing PR)(10-30-2008)
- Stenhouse unsure of 2009 plans; hoping to run more races: It was an exhilarating year for Olive Branch, Miss-native Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. who made his ARCA RE/MAX Series debut at Daytona in February. Over the last 10 months, Stenhouse has experienced ups and downs but overall, he demonstrated just why Roush Fenway Racing chose him as the future of the team. With two wins (Kentucky and Pocono), three poles (DuQuoin, Chicago and Salem), 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes in 21 starts, Stenhouse was a regular at the front of the field throughout the 2008 season. "I'm going to go to as many races as I can at the end of this year and learn as much as I can," said Stenhouse. "I don't know exactly what their plans are for me next year but I hope to be racing more than 21 times whether it's in ARCA or one of the NASCAR Series."(Roush Fenway PR)(10-20-2008)
- Drive For Diversity Program to host 26 Candidates at the 2008 Drive For Diversity Combine Presented By Sunoco UPDATE 2 Combine notes: Twenty-six drivers from different forms of racing all over North America will showcase their skills in front of NASCAR team owners and executives at the sixth annual Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine presented by Sunoco. The scouting event will take place October 13-14 at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia. This year's candidates were selected from more than 200 applicants from across North America. Fourteen of the drivers will earn a ride in NASCAR's developmental series for the 2009 season. Since the creation of the Drive for Diversity program in 2004, 22 competitors have driven for the program in NASCAR's developmental series, winning 28 races. The 2008 driver class has enjoyed tremendous on-track success this season, with the nine drivers earning a combined 14 wins, 42 top fives and 88 top 10s. Driver Paul Harraka captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Championship at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.; he is the first driver to win a championship as part of the Drive for Diversity program. The 26 drivers participating in the 2008 Combine presented by Sunoco, including seven members of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class, will participate in both on- and off-track evaluation. The on-track session will be conducted in NASCAR Camping World Series cars provided by Richard Petty Driving Experience and will include testing, qualifying laps and intermediate runs. Off the track, the drivers will be evaluated during media and sponsor relations activities. Drive for Diversity affiliated team owners will select fourteen drivers to compete for their teams in 2009 in either the NASCAR Camping World Series or the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Four drivers will compete in the Camping World Series, 10 will compete in the Whelen All-American Series.
The following drivers will participate in the 2008 Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine presented by Sunoco:
*Mackena Bell (Carson City, Nev.) finished eighth in the All American Speedway Late Model points standings with three top fives and 14 top 10s.
* Kristin Bumbera (Sealy, Tex.) is a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class. She finished seventh in the All American Speedway Late Model points standings with two feature wins, 11 top fives and 13 top 10s.
*Michael Cherry (Valrico, Fla.) finished fourth in the Late Model standings at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., as a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class.
*Tiffany Daniels (Smithfield, Va.) competed in late model events at Southern National Raceway in Kenly, N.C., and South Boston (Va.) Speedway in 2008, notching two top-10 finishes.
*Phil Dugan (Meridian, Idaho) is currently third in the ASA Late Model points standings at Meridian (Idaho) Speedway with three top fives and six top 10s. He also has one win in the Late Model Lite division.
*Mike Gallegos (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) is a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class. He has six NASCAR Camping World Series West top-10 finishes.
*Cassie Gannis (Phoenix, Ariz.) enjoyed three top fives and eight top 10s in 11 Super Late Model starts at Tucson (Ariz.) Raceway Park and the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this season.
*Jonathon Gomez (Twin Falls, Idaho) has scored five wins in the Late Model division at Magic Valley Speedway in Twin Falls, Idaho, so far this season. He also has two top 10s in two NASCAR Camping World Series West starts.
*Katie Hagar (Nobleboro, Maine) earned 11 top-10 finishes in the Late Model division at All American Speedway as a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class.
*Paul Harraka (Fair Lawn, N.J.) became the first driver to win a championship as part of the Drive for Diversity program, winning the 2008 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series track championship at All American Speedway. He won 11 feature events and scored 18 top fives and 20 top 10s.
*Laura Hayes (Wilton, Calif.) finished sixth in the All American Speedway Late Model points standings with one win, 10 top fives and 13 top 10s.
*Rebecca Kasten (Mequon, Wis.) has spent the year racing ASA Late Models and Limited Late Models throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. She has one Limited Late Model win and five Late Model top 10s so far this season.
*Lindsey King (Cherry Valley, Calif.) competes in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif. as a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class. This season she became the first female to win a late model race on the half-mile oval.
*Kortney Kosiski (Ralston, Neb.) is currently first in the IMCA Crate Late Model points standings. She has one win, seven top fives and eight top 10s.
*Ashlee Lancaster (Columbia, Mo.) competes in the FASTRACK Late Model Series at Montgomery County Speedway in New Florence, Mo., and Callaway Raceway in Fulton, Mo.
*Amanda Lynch (Piedmont, S.C.) has one top-10 finish in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C.
*Ruben Pardo (Mexico City, Mex.) currently competes in the NASCAR Mexico Series and has made four starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2008.
*Juan Pitta (Galt, Calif.) finished fifth in the All American Speedway Late Model points standings with eight top fives and 15 top 10s.
*Megan Reitenour (Miamisburg, Ohio) competes in the Super Cup Stock Series and is currently first in the points standings. She has two wins, seven top fives and eight top 10s in eight starts this season.
*Jason Romero (Cameron Park, Calif.) finished 10th in the All American Speedway Late Model points standings after running a partial schedule.
*Natalie Sather (Fargo, N.D.) competes in 360 Sprint cars at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. This season she has one top five and six top 10s.
*Caitlin Shaw (Albuquerque, N.M.) raced in the USAC National Series in 2008 as a development driver for K&N Engineering.
*Jonathan Smith (Beacon Falls, Conn.) competes in the NASCAR Camping World Series East as a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class.
*Emily Sue Steck (Holman, Wis.) races in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at LaCrosse (Wis.) Fairgrounds Speedway. She finished sixth in the 2008 Late Model point standings and was the 2007 Wendell Scott Trailblazer Award winner.
*Trista Stevenson (Pocahontas, Ill.) raced a partial schedule in the Late Model division at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Tenn. and scored two top-10 finishes.
*Jessica Wood (Newport News, Va.) competes in the Super Street division at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. She has one win, eight top fives and 10 top 10s this season.
- UPDATE 2 Drive for Diversity Combine - Day 1: More than a dozen drivers took to the track Monday as the fifth annual Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco got underway. Dale Earnhardt Inc. driver Jesus Hernandez finished third in the NASCAR Camping World Series East this year in his final year in the program. For some Monday, like Kortney Kosiski of Lincoln, Neb., this was a first opportunity to make an impression on a bigger stage. Kosiski comes from a storied racing background: Her father and uncle are both former NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champions, her grandfather competed in the 1960 Daytona 500. Others, like Trista Stevenson, are returning and looking to build off their previous experience. Stevenson competed in her first combine last year. Among those on hand to observe and offer encouragement to the drivers was noted female driver Lyn St. James. St. James became the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 1992 and currently operates a foundation to help females in racing. The 2008 season was the most successful to date, with nine drivers earning a combined 14 wins, 42 top fives and 88 top 10s. Paul Harraka captured the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model Championship at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.; he is the first driver to win a championship as part of the Drive for Diversity program.
Other drivers to compete in the on-track session Monday were: Mackena Bell (Carson City, Nev.), Kristin Bumbera (Sealy, Texas), Michael Cherry (Valrico, Fla.), Tiffany Daniels (Smithfield, Va.), Mike Gallegos (Wheat Ridge, Colo.), Paul Harraka (Fair Lawn, N.J.), Amanda Lynch (Piedmont, S.C.), Megan Reitenour (Miamisburg, Ohio), Natalie Sather (Fargo, N.D.), Jonathan Smith (Beacon Falls, Conn.), and Emily Sue Steck (Holmen, Wis.).(NASCAR PR)(10-13-2008)
- Drive for Diversity Combine - Day 2: Laura Hayes had a perfect view of the Drive for Diversity in action. Driving at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., this past season, Hayes ran a Late Model against program participants Kristin Bumbera, Paul Harraka and Katie Hagar. Hayes is getting her chance to follow further in their footsteps. Tuesday, the final 12 drivers of the group participated in the on-track portion of the event. The rest took part in the off-track media training and evaluations. They are competing for 14 spots - 10 rides in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and four in the NASCAR Camping World Series. Like Hayes, Phil Dugan is making his first trip to the combine. The 21-year-old Dugan, from Meridian, Idaho, races Late Models in his home state. The number of rides available increased this year from nine to 14 as the talent pool the drivers are selected from across North America gets deeper. In addition to the scheduled combine activities, the drivers took advantage to interact with their peers that share the same goals and aspirations.
Other drivers to compete in the on-track session Tuesday were: o Cassie Gannis (Phoenix, Ariz.), Jonathon Gomez (Twin Falls, Idaho), Katie Hagar (Nobleboro, Maine), Rebecca Kasten (Mequon, Wis.), Ashlee Lancaster (Columbia, Mo.), Ruben Pardo (Mexico City, Mexico), Juan Pitta (Galt, Calif.), Jason Romero (Cameron Park, Calif.), Caitlin Shaw (Albuquerque, N.M.), and Jessica Wood (Newport News, Va.).(NASCAR PR)(10-15-2008)
- Allgaier wins race & ARCA championship: Justin Allgaier won the ARCA RE/MAX Series season title Sunday, beating Matt Carter y 0.579 seconds in the Hantz Group 200 at Toledo Speedway for his third straight victory and sixth of the year. The 22-year-old Allgaier, coming off wins at New Jersey and Talladega, entered the week third in the standings behind Scott Speed and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Speed finished 34th Sunday after being parked for intentionally wrecking Stenhouse in retaliation for another wreck. Stenhouse ended up 25th, 69 laps behind. Allgaier, driving his family's #16 Hoosier Tire Midwest-AG Tech-Auto Xpress Chevy, got underneath Carter 12 laps from the finish and drove away for his eighth career victory in the series. On Lap 27, Stenhouse, running third right behind Speed, got into the back of Speed heading into the third turn. Speed drifted up the track and hit the wall, causing extensive damage to the right side of the car. [Stenhouse finished 25th](ESPN.com)(10-13-2008)
- MMI Driver Development Combine at Caraway Speedway: An invited group of free agent development drivers of various ages and development levels are scheduled to test a 2008 ARCA car prepared and run by Eddie Sharp Racing at Caraway Speedway this week. Event organizer is Motorsports Management International. Patrick Donahue will serve as crew chief for all drivers. Each driver will get 20-30 minutes to sort the car to his or her preference, then do a 40 lap test run. Drivers include Chad Boat, James Buescher, Matt Debenetto, Darren Hagen, Matt Hawkins, Matt Hirschman, Ryan Lawler, Bobby Santos, Kevin Swindell and Cole Whitt. More info on drivers listed below:
*Chad Boat (age 16, Phoenix, AZ) The son of former Indy 500 pole-sitter Billy Boat, the Arizona native became the youngest USAC National Sprint Car winner of all-time by virtue of his win in Hagerstown, Md. in June. A former regular on the Arizona midget scene and in ASA Speed Trucks, he is a rookie on the 2008 USAC circuit.
*James Buescher (age 18, Plano, TX)The 2006 ASA Late Model Southern Division champion, he became the youngest all-time ARCA winner with a win in Lakeland in 2007, has been a top-five fixture in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, and earned his first top-ten NASCAR Nationwide Series finish (7th) this year at Gateway.
*Darren Hagen (age 22, Riverside, CA) A former Hut Hundred winner, the California native is a consummate threat for any race win or points title in the USAC ranks. In 2008, he has corralled victories at Manzanita and Winchester.
*Matt Hawkins (age 20, Canton, GA) In his second year in the Hooters Pro Cup Series, the 2006 winner of the Snowball 100 won two Pro Cup races in '07, including winning his series debut, and led the most laps en route to runner-up finishes at the World Crown and the Snowball Derby, and scored a win in his first career ARCA start this Spring at Iowa.
*Matt Hirschman (age 25, Northampton, PA)The reigning, two-time winner of Concord's North-South Shootout, the son of Tony Hirschman finished third in Whelen Modified Tour points in 2007 and has carried that momentum to 2008, winning eight races, including his first Tour win at Spencer Speedway.
*Ryan Lawler (age 21, Colleyille, TX)The 2007 PASS South Late Model champion scored two wins last year, including the season-opening Easter Bunny 150 at Hickory, and won the Winchester 400 under CRA sanction. In 2008, the Texan has run a limited Truck Series schedule with SS-Green Light Racing.
*Bobby Santos (age 22, Franklin, MA)One of the most versatile racers in the short track world, the Massachusetts native scored a win last November in the sprint car portion of the Turkey Night Grand Prix in Irwindale and won the Whelen Modified Tour season finale at Thompson Int'l Speedway. Bobby had several Busch starts in 2007 for BDR, including breakout performances at Richmond and Loudon.
*Kevin Swindell (age 19, Germantown, TN)The son of sprint car legend Sammy Swindell, the Tennessee native won his first USAC-sanctioned race at 2007's "Night Before the 500" at O'Reilly Raceway Park. He is the youngest ever winner in World of Outlaws Sprint Car history, and recently, he picked up a pair of wins in the POWRi Midget Series two-day stay at Nebraska's Junction Motor Speedway.
*Cole Whitt (age 17, Alpine, CA)This California native came to Indiana to race against the best, and has proven he belongs. While he's a winner in the sprint car ranks (two USAC National Sprint Car wins) he also currently possesses the USAC National Midget point lead in his rookie year of USAC National Touring.
*Matt Debenetto (age 17, Hickory, NC) Matt is a California transplant who has made a name for himself in late models throughout the Carolinas and Virginia circuits. A former UARA Rookie of the Year and Most Popular Driver at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway, Matt has racked up several regional late model wins in 2008 at Bristol, Newport and Tri-County Speedways.
- Six sports to be awarded in driver talent search: The national talent search for the driver development program conducted by Ron Sutton's Winner's Circle launches today. Supporting sponsors, K&N Filters, Lucas Oil & Sunoco Racing Fuels will be awarding six spots in the 2008 Shoot-Out to young, talented drivers from various forms of youth motorsports. K&N Filters, Lucas Oil & Sunoco Racing Fuels have stepped up to award positions in the Shoot-Out to one participant from each of the following six youth racing series; IKF International Karting Federation, STARS Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar Series, SKUSA Superkarts! USA, Legends/Dwarf Car Racing, Quarter Midget Racing and Micro-Sprint/TQ/Dirt Kart Racing. The career development program consists of 12 veteran driver coaches, over 20 classroom topics and eight organizations fielding 24 race teams, all dedicated to develop drivers in the RSWC program. The teams are a balance of Open Wheel and Stock Car oval track race teams ... with Road Racing added … to develop highly versatile and accomplished winning drivers. Young winning drivers ages 11 to 19, and their parents, are encouraged to get all the information and answers to common questions from the website, then submit their resume in time to be considered. For information visit Winners-Circle-Racing.com.(9-23-2008)
- Austin & Rusty Wallace Racing part ways: Officials of Rusty Wallace Racing and representatives of the team's former developmental series driver, Chase Austin, have announced that the parties have mutually agreed to end their nearly two-year relationship, effective immediately. Noted RWR team owner, Rusty Wallace; "Chase is a great kid and he has the talent and potential to be a really good race car driver with enough seat time. He's well-spoken and seems to understand the sponsorship end of this sport a lot better than most drivers his age. Atreus Homes had originally agreed to provide sponsorship for Chase to run a partial Nationwide Series and ARCA schedule this year. Unfortunately, with the housing market the way it is, Atreus couldn't provide the funding they had originally promised for Chase's program. It wasn't anything to do with Chase or our team at all; it just came down to the economic issues that are affecting the entire housing industry right now.(RW Racing PR)(-9-23-2008)
- Third Annual Driver Development Clinic: UPDATE - Postponed: Mike Calinoff´s third annual NASCAR Driver Development Clinic is officially scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008, at Fitz Motorsports in Mooresville, NC. The clinic is an all-day event split into three segments - Driver Development, Mastering the Media, and Grassroots Sponsorship. Each segment will feature its own list of distinguished panelists specific to the field. An all-star lineup of NASCAR drivers including Kyle Busch, David Stremme, Reed Sorenson, Bryan Clauson and Michael McDowell have already been confirmed as panelists. Driver development representatives from NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, and Craftsman Truck Series teams will be featured as panelists in addition to distinguished media, marketing, and business management specialists. The price for attending this year's clinic is $300 per person (parent or driver). A complimentary lunch is offered and refreshments will be available throughout the day. Registration opens at 8:00am while the first seminar begins at 10:00am. For more information, contact (704) 664-1755 or visit DriverDevelopmentClinic.com.(6-17-2008)
UPDATE - Postponed: Due to scheduling conflicts with the drivers, the 3rd Annual Driver Development Clinic has been postponed until Saturday, January 16, 2009. If you already purchased your tickets you can either use them on the new date in 2009 or write to them at driverdevelopmentclinic.com for a refund. Sorry for any inconvenience.(9-18-2008)
- Allgaier to run limited Nationwide schedule in 2008 & 2009 for Penske: Penske Racing announced the signing of 22-year old Justin Allgaier to drive in the Nationwide Series. Allgaier, currently ranked fifth in the 2008 ARCA Re/Max driver points standings, will drive a limited Nationwide Series schedule in 2008 and 2009 for Penske Racing, as he continues to develop as a driver.(Penske Racing PR)(9-17-2008)
- Carmichael testing ARCA car at Talladega for KHI: Retired dirt bike racer Ricky Carmichael, nicknamed the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) for his record-holding 150 career wins and 15 championships in AMA Motocross competition, is scheduled to test an ARCA RE/MAX Series stock car for Kevin Harvick Racing during a two-day ARCA Open Test at Talladega Superspeedway on Wednesday and Thursday, September 17th and 18th, 2008.(ARCA Racing PR)(9-16-2008)
- Diversity driver, Harraka wins track championship: Paulie Harraka finished the season at All American Speedway with a flourish. The 18-year-old drove the #16 Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Toyota to wins in both ends of the twin 50-lap features Saturday night and rallied to capture the track's Late Model division championship. The wins gave Harraka 11 for the year and resulted in the first track title for a driver in NASCAR's Drive For Diversity program. Harraka returned to North Carolina Sunday, where he is attending Duke University. He plans to compete in the final two NASCAR Camping World Series West races - at Altamont Motorsports Park in Tracy, Calif. Saturday, Sept. 13 and at All American Saturday, Oct. 25.(NASCAR PR)(9-8-2008)
- Aflac to be primary sponsor for Stenhouse remainder of season: Roush Fenway Racing announced today that as part of Aflac's designation as "Official Supplemental Insurance Company of Roush Fenway Racing", they will be carried as the primary sponsor on the #99 Ford in the ARCA RE/MAX Series for the remainder of the 2008 season. The #99 Aflac Ford will make its debut on the one-mile clay dirt track of DuQuoin Monday, Sept. 1 when the ARCA RE/MAX Series returns to action. (Roush Fenway Racing PR)(8-29-2008)
- Driver for Diversity announces sponsor, candidates for 2008 crew program: The 2008 Drive for Diversity crew member roster has been announced by Access Marketing & Communications, which runs the Drive for Diversity program. The 2008 Crew Member Development Program, to be presented by Sprint, will give six minority and female crew members the opportunity to serve as an apprentice with an established NASCAR team. The Drive for Diversity program is in its fifth season as NASCAR's leading on-track diversity initiative.
The following six crew members have been selected to participate in the 2008 Crew Member Development Program presented by Sprint:
...Johnnie Wade, of Greensboro, N.C., selected by Team Dillon Racing
...Brian Eastland, of New Bern, N.C., selected by Roush Fenway Racing
...Melissa Hakes, of Antelope, Calif., selected by Bill McAnally Racing
...Justin Henry, of Elverta, Calif., selected by Golden State Racing
...Pervis Johnson, of Mooresville, N.C., selected by Roush Fenway Racing
...Randi Olson, of Oak Grove, Mo., selected by Randy Moss Motorsports
The crew members selected for the program will work with their respective teams to receive hands-on training related to their area of interest or expertise. Their apprenticeships began in early August and culminate at the end of the 2008 race season.(PRNewswire.com)(8-26-2008)
- Next step for Davis, trucks? UPDATE: Davis to make Series debut with RMM; maybe six races? Development driver, Marc Davis and the JGR team are unsure of his next step. He remains in one of NASCAR's Class A leagues, the Camping World East series. The best and nearest hope for advancement team president J.D. Gibbs offers is perhaps the Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR's Double-A ball, beginning next year. [Brad] Daugherty had limited success as a Truck and Nationwide owner in the past, and just last month bought into another team that will field one car at the Cup level in 2009. The team already had three white drivers under contract for next year, one in Cup, two in Nationwide, so his hands are tied on improving diversity there. "But I'm looking at running, hopefully, an African-American driver in the Truck series," he says. Daugherty wouldn't confirm the likelihood that Marc Davis is his man, but also wouldn't deny it, in a joint effort with the Gibbs team. For Marc, "I would say there's a possibility he could run something [part-time] in Nationwide in the fall," Gibbs says. "Next year, we're trying to look at trucks as a great spot for him." (Read more of this article at ESPN.com)(8-11-2008)
UPDATE: Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis will make his Craftsman Truck Series debut driving for Randy Moss Motorsports in the Sept. 6 race at Gateway International Raceway. Randy Moss Motorsports co-owner David Dollar said Wednesday that Davis could run more than just one race this year. Davis, who just turned 18 in June, has competed in the NASCAR Camping World East Series for the last two years.(SceneDaily.com)(8-21-2008)
UPDATE: Randy Moss Motorsports has hired 18-year-old Marc Davis to drive in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series beginning Sept. 6 at St. Louis, and for a total of "probably about six races this year," Davis said Monday in a telephone interview. Davis is widely considered the African American driver nearest to making a major breakthrough in NASCAR. But his father, Harry Davis, said the deal as it came together "was never about diversity, as many would play it up to be. It's about dollars." Davis received special permission to drive for Moss from J.D. Gibbs, president of Joe Gibbs Racing, where Davis has been a development driver alongside Joey Logano for the past two years. Harry Davis said the deal came together quickly because Marc brought his own sponsorship, from Howard University-affiliated radio station WHUR in Washington, D.C. (ESPN.com)(8-26-2008)
- Harraka earns ninth win: Driver For Diversity driver Paulie Harraka earned his ninth Late Model win of the season Saturday night at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. Harraka qualified second and won the 50-lap feature by .363 seconds over runner-up Shannon Mansch. In the process, Harraka moved within 18 points of division leader John Moore.(NASCAR PR)(8-25-2008)
- Martin Development Driver, Colangelo gets first Super Late Model victory: Jeremy Colangelo has had an amazing season in the Late Model ranks in Florida. Solid finishes have left the driver from Deland, FL, waiting for that first victory. Several near misses made some wonder when the day would come. Colangelo put the questions to rest when he scored a victory in a 50-lap Bright House Challenge event at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida. After taking the win, the team is already looking forward to the next race. Colangelo also got word from his team owner Sprint Cup Series driver Mark Martin early the next morning. "I woke up Sunday morning to a few text messages from him (Martin)," added Colangelo. "He was telling me how proud he was of me. It was pretty cool to know that he was doing this before he got in his car at Michigan (for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race). We are already talking about the next race, though. We celebrated that night, and now we're focused on the next race. After winning one race, we are hungrier than ever to do it again."(JeremyColangelo.net)(8-19-2008)
- Dillon to make NNS debut at Richmond: Austin Dillon, grandson of championship-winning team owner Richard Childress, will make his Nationwide Series debut Sept. 5 at Richmond International Raceway. The 18-year-old is competing for a championship in NASCAR's Camping World Series East Series and sits third in the point standings. As of right now, Dillon said he plans to run the RCR #21 or 33, but later his permanent number could be the storied #3, the number piloted by the late Dale Earnhardt and the number that has created an immortal fan following since the legendary driver's death in 2001. Not since then has the #3 been on the track with any regularity; the number was placed into retirement and has only made a few public appearances, such as the time his son Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove the number in a 2002 Nationwide race and in a 2003 program at Lowe's Motor Speedway honoring past Cup champions. It's uncertain what kind of fan reaction could come from returning the number to the track, but Dillon said he is sensitive to the subject.(NASCAR.com)(8-18-2008)
- TRG Motorsports signs Stancill to driver development program: TRG Motorsports is pleased to announce that 19-year-old Ben Stancill has been signed to a driver development deal that is aimed at preparing the North Carolina native for a full-time assault on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2009. Stancill is scheduled to participate in two test sessions and two races for TRG Motorsports in an ARCA RE/MAX Series stock car in an effort to gain clearance by NASCAR to compete in the Craftsman Truck Series full-time next year. Stancill will be behind the wheel of a TRG Motorsports prepared ARCA RE/MAX Series car on Tuesday, August 19th at the ARCA sanctioned test at Chicagoland Speedway. His first race for TRG Motorsports will be at Chicago's 1.5-mile tri-oval on September 6th. Stancill will then test at Talladega Superspeedway on September 17th and 18th in preparation for the October 3rd race at the famed superspeedway.(TRG Motorsports PR)(8-18-2008)
- Driver Development School scheduled for November 22-23, 2008: The Dirt Track Racing School has partnered with publicist and author Jade Gurss to offer a specialized driver development program at the end of the 2008 racing season. This unique class will offer on-track experience behind the wheel of a Late Model on a banked dirt oval and a media seminar with Gurss. The driver development class, geared toward young racers on their climb up the racing ladder, will begin Saturday, November 22 at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, NC. Day one will give students a full day of driving behind the wheel of a full-sized, dirt Late Model with professional feedback and instruction from the Dirt Track Racing School instructors. Day two will consist of a three-hour media seminar at the Hampton Inn hotel in nearby Belmont, NC. The total price for the program is $1,299. For more information call the Dirt Track Racing School at 704-728-2969 or visit the DriveOnDirt.com website. Reservations made by August 31, 2008 will receive a $100 discount.(Fingerprint Inc. PR)(8-12-2008)
- Development driver Austin looking for next break: Chase Austin, is the other most-often-mentioned black driver nearing the brink of a major breakthrough in NASCAR. But his development contract with Rusty Wallace's team appears to be at a standstill because his sponsorship -- from Atlanta-based, minority-oriented home-building firm Homelife Communities -- evaporated in the ongoing crises in the construction and home mortgage industries. And even with his career advancement on hold, there is hope for major financial backing for Chase Austin, with help from The Brand Coach, an Atlanta-based, all-minority, all-female marketing and public relations firm. "Consumers drive everything," says Jai Stone, CEO of The Brand Coach, which targets minority consumers. "One of the things we find is that a lot of times, the consumers don't know there is a minority driver." The idea is to get minority consumers tuned in to NASCAR racing, and to Chase Austin as a personality, and thereby attract sponsorship for Austin. ." (Read more of this article at ESPN.com)(8-11-2008)
- Penske development driver, Billy Wease enters Nashville ARCA event: Penske Racing has announced that Billy Wease, 21, a current test driver for the organization, will drive the Cunningham Motorsports #29 Kenwood Dodge in the upcoming ARCA RE/MAX Series Toyota 150 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, August 9. Since 2005, Wease has worked with Penske Racing as a test and development driver. His stock debut came in the ARCA Series in June 2006, where he finished second in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200 at Michigan International Speedway.(Penske Racing PR)(8-8-2008)
- Dillon to make second ARCA start: UPDATE Withdraws: Austin Dillon [grandson of Richard Childress] is entered in #31 Team Dillon Racing Chevy for the Toyota Tundra 150 ARCA Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. Dillon had one previous start at Rockingham Speedway where he started 10th and finished 7th.(ARCA Racing)(8-7-2008)
UPDATE: Austin Dillon's entry for the ARCA Series event was withdrawn; no reason given.(8-10-2008)
- Presnell newest member of Hillenburg's Future Stars Academy: Dylan Presnell, thirteen-year-old racer from Sevierville, [TN] has become the newest member of Andy Hillenburg's Future Stars Academy. In 2008, Dylan grabbed his first career win in the Allison Legacy cars, where he currently sits seventh in points overall, with a commanding lead in Rookie of the Year standings. Young Presnell has also "been running the Summer Shootout in Legends Cars Young Lions. "Dylan has a lot of talent, listens very well and is a hard worker, which are three ingredients I feel are crucial to a driver's success," said Andy Hillenburg. "We are proud to have Dylan as a member of our program." Dylan is being helped in his career with training from Andy Hillenburg´s Future Stars in Racing. The Academy helps prepare young drivers for success inside and outside the racecar. Racers can now choose the training programs, professional PR and marketing services or custom driving schools on an a la carte basis to fit their needs. The Academy features a staff with decades of experience in all aspects of motorsports.(Future Stars In Racing PR)(8-6-2008)
- King wins first at Irwindale: Drive for Diversity member Lindsey King won her first career NASCAR Whelen All-American Series feature event on Saturday night at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. The 19-year-old King is the first female to win an Auto Club Late Model event at the half-mile oval. King, a first-year participant in the Drive for Diversity program, qualified fifth for the 40-lap feature event in the No. 59 High Point Racing Chevrolet. She started on the outside-pole after the pre-race invert, but was able to pull ahead of the leader on the first lap. King went on to lead every lap and take the checkered flag by a 0.218 second margin of victory over track point leader Nick Joanides.(NASCAR PR)(8-4-2008)
- Harraka wins sixth at All American Speedway: Drive For Diversity member Paul Harraka scored his sixth win of the season Saturday night in the #16 Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Toyota at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. Harraka, 18, made his NASCAR Camping World Series West debut in Tooele, Utah Saturday afternoon. He then traveled back to Roseville for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event Saturday night. Harraka is third in the All American Speedway Late Model point standings. He has six wins and 11 top-fives in 16 starts.(NASCAR PR)(8-4-2008)
- Bumbera earns second fvictory at All American Speedway: After several successful years of racing on the local circuit, Sealy's Kristin Bumbera was selected to compete in the NASCAR Driver for Diversity program this season and has made the most of her opportunity. In her first season driving in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for Golden State Racing in the Late Model division, Bumbera has wasted little time in finding her way to victory lane. Bumbera earned her second feature victory of the season last Saturday at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. After qualifying sixth, Bumbera started on the pole after the inversion - for the fourth time this season - giving her all the advantage she would need. Bumbera, who owns the one-lap track record at 13.690 seconds, won for the first time June 21 at the same track, in the first race of the two-race event that night. This victory vaulted her from seventh in the points standings to fifth, even though she missed one race to compete in NASCAR's Camping World Series. Bumbera has eight top-fives and nine top-10s this season.(Houston Chronicle)(8-2-2008)
- Bill Elliott Development program adds Legends Stand Out Case Roderick to driver list: The Bill Elliott Driver Development (BEDD) program has announced the addition of 15-year-old racing prodigy Casey Roderick to its stable of young drivers. Roderick joins current BEDD teammates Chase Elliott, Mitch Cobb, Trey Poole, and John King, who operate out of the Dawsonville, GA, and shop of Bill Elliott Racing. Next week, Roderick will participate in the McDowell and Cook Driving School, a partner of Bill Elliott Racing, which gives racers the advantage of in-depth classroom analysis of set-ups, driving techniques and shop preparation. Elliott plans to continue testing Roderick in various types of equipment, including late model and ARCA cars, for the remainder of 2008 and will make an announcement later this year about his plans for 2009.(Bill Elliott Racing PR)(7-31-2008)
- Stenhouse ARCA Series points leader: Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Roush Fenway Racing's development driver for 2008, came to the ARCA RE/MAX Series in search of seat-time in preparation for NASCAR's highest leagues. On an interesting mix of short-tracks (dirt and pavement), superspeedways and even an upcoming road course, he's getting plenty of practice for sure. He's leading the national championship point standings ever since his career-first victory at Kentucky Speedway back in May.In 12 starts in 2008, Stenhouse has been solid with six top-five finishes and nine top-10s, including two wins at Kentucky and Pocono Raceway. (ARCA Racing PR)(7-31-2008)
- DEI development drivers test at Lime Rock: After putting all three of their cars in the top 10 in last week's NASCAR Camping World East Series event at Adirondack International Speedway, Dale Earnhardt Inc. drivers Jeffrey Earnhardt, Jesus Hernandez and Trevor Bayne were hard at work Tuesday. The trio tested at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, honing their road-racing skills. The three drivers will compete in the Camping World East Series event at the 1.53-mile track on August 16th. Bayne is currently second in Camping World Series points, 57 points out of first. Hernandez is fourth in points, 131 points out of the top spot. Earnhardt is ninth, 228 points out of the lead.(DEI-Zone PR)(7-31-2008)
- Davis honored with Leadership Award: Dan Davis, who will retire as director of Ford Racing Technology on Aug. 1 after 11 years at the post, was honored with the first Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation's "Leadership Award" in a surprise announcement at the foundation's annual luncheon at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Foundation founder Lyn St. James presented Davis with the award, which honors individuals or organizations that have taken extraordinary measures and shown outstanding initiative in promoting diversity within the racing industry. According to St. James, Davis was selected to be the first honoree for his work in developing Ford's unique Women's Driver Development Program, the first time an auto manufacturer created a program to identify and develop young, female talent. The current Ford Women's Driver Development Program features Stephanie Mockler and Alison MacLeod, who both run USAC Midgets for famed team owner Bob East. Mockler, 20, was the first female to win a USAC Ford Focus Midget race, and has also won several USAC Regional events. MacLeod, 19, became the winningest female driver in USAC history Wednesday evening with her sixth USAC Ford Focus Midget win.(Ford Racing PR)(7-25-2008)
- Craftsman career development week for Urban Youth Racing School: NASCAR Series sponsor, Craftsman, kicks off their fifth annual Craftsman Career Development Apprenticeship Week in Mooresville, NC today, bringing six students from the Urban Youth Racing Schools (UYRS) in Philadelphia, PA and Washington, DC to the Mooresville area to work with four different teams in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The students, who range in age from 16-18, report for duty at their respective race shops today and will work side-by-side with the teams through Wednesday as they prepare their race trucks for the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indiana. On Thursday, the students will fly to Indianapolis, IN where they will continue their learning experience as they work in the pits with their teams racing toward victory on Friday night. All students will round out the evening joining the race winner in the Craftsman Victory Lane celebration. Philadelphia students include Kyle Baker who will intern with Red Horse Racing and driver David Starr; Brigette Depalma and Chris Lawrence who will be teamed up with TRG Motorsports and drivers T.J. Bell and Donny Lia, respectively; and Jeremy Ortiz who will work with Circle Bar Motorsports and driver Brendan Gaughan. Washington, DC-based students include Jarel Harris who will team up with Xpress Motorsports and driver Bryan Scott and Serfrederick Hill, II who will work with Circle Bar Racing and driver Rick Crawford.(Craftsman PR)(7-21-2008)
- Dillon to Truck Series? UPDATE Maybe Nationwide? Austin Dillon, the 18 year old grandson of Cup Series team owner Richard Childress and son of former Busch Series driver Mike Dillon, might be headed for the Truck Series. I'm hearing that he may run as many as three races this season in the NCTS to further his development. The races will be run for a Chevy team, no word which one specifically. Dillon is currently in his first season in the Camping World East Series, piloting the #3 Garage Equipment Supply Chevy for family owned Team Dillon Racing. He has one win, three top five's, and four top ten's in five starts, and is the points leader heading into this weekend's race at Thompson International Speedway.(nascarinsiders.com)(7-10-2008)
UPDATE: RaceTalkRadio.com has learned that Austin Dillon, Grandson of NASCAR owner Richard Childress, will be competing for rookie of the year in the Nationwide Series in 2009. Austin Dillon leads the points in the NASCAR Camping World Series Eastern division and drives the #3 car in that series. Dillon is expected to compete in several Nationwide Series races later this season.(RaceTalkRadio.com)(7-18-2008)
- Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation Project Podium awards: The Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation has awarded five young women drivers funding from the its new matching grant program, Project Podium. The inaugural funding distributed $28,900 grants to go-kart racer Natalie Fenaroli, 13, Raymore, Mo.; mini sprint racer Brandie Jass, 15, Bryan, Texas; go-kart racer Kristy Knoll, 13, Amherst, N.Y.; stock car racer Megan Reitenaur, 17, Miamisburg, Ohio, and sprint car racer Miranda Throckmorton, 16, Coatesville, Ind. "Project Podium is designed to help young talent achieve racing and business success," said former driver Lyn St. James, the founder and director of the Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation. "The 17 young ladies who submitted applications for our first round of funding exemplified the future of women in motorsports. They represented many different race Series and all are dedicated to being successful on the track and in the motorsports business world."(AP/USA Today)(7-16-2008)
- Harraka wins 5th at All American Speedway: Drive for Diversity member Paul Harraka scored his fifth win of the season Saturday night in the #16 Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Toyota at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. "It's great to get win number five for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, Bill McAnally Racing, the Drive for Diversity program and all of our supporters," said Harraka. Harraka, 18, qualified fifth for the 50-lap feature and started on the pole after an invert of the top-five qualifiers. Harraka led nearly every lap of the main event, relinquishing the lead for just five laps mid-way through the race to fellow Drive for Diversity competitor Kristin Bumbera. Harraka was able to retake the lead, crossing the finish line with a 1.139 second margin of victory. Bumbera, driving the #00 TXI/Riverside Cement Chevy, finished second, giving the Drive for Diversity program the one-two finish.(NASCAR PR)(7-14-2008)
- DEI development drivers garner top spots at Thompson: Seventeen-year-old Dale Earnhardt, Inc. development driver Trevor Bayne scored his first career NASCAR Camping World Series East victory Saturday night at Thompson International Speedway. The win came in Bayne's sixth career start. Bayne's #1 Dale Earnhardt Chevy took the lead from DEI teammate Jesus Hernandez on a lap 97 restart and won the Pepsi Full Fendered Frenzy 100 by a car length. Hernandez finished second followed by veteran Brad Leighton and Marc Davis. DEI's Jeffrey Earnhardt was fifth, marking the third time in six races DEI has put all three of its cars in the top five. Bayne and Hernandez swapped the lead five times over the second half of the race. The win topped off a huge day for the Knoxville, Tenn., driver, who earlier won his first career Coors Light Pole Award.(NASCAR PR)(7-14-2008)
- Brent Brevak competing in ASA Late Model North Series: Ashland native Brent Brevak, son of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owners Bob and Shelly Brevak plan to compete in the full 2008 ASA Late Model Series, which has 11 events in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa and Missouri. The next event on the ASA North Series schedule is July 25 at Madison International Speedway in Oregon. It will be Border Wars Weekend with the 'Mayor of Madison 100.' On July 26, the series will be in Rockford Speedway with the 'King of Rockford 100' in Loves Park, Illinois The team is also seeking sponsorship to run a limited ARCA schedule. More information on Brent Brevak and the Brevak Racing ASA Late Model North Series team can be found at brevakracing.com..(Brevak Racing PR)(7-14-2008)
- Mid-season report: Ricky Stenhouse: Ten races into the 21 race ARCA RE/MAX Series season and Roush Fenway Racing stand-out Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is demonstrating just why the NASCAR powerhouse signed him. It took the Olive Branch, Miss.-native just six career ARCA starts before capturing his first win at Kentucky on May 10, 2008. He then repeated the feat two weeks later at Pocono Raceway - a track that is notoriously challenging for most drivers. In the past five months he's accrued two wins, six top-five and eight top-10 finishes in 10 starts and he leads the point standings. Stenhouse currently leads the point standings by 130 over Scott Speed. He assumed the lead following his win at Kentucky and has increased the lead from 10 points to 130 in the past four races.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(7-10-2008)
- NASCAR Foundation Auction Funds first year of program: Recognizing there are many women interested in pursuing careers in the automotive industry, NASCAR and the UTI Foundation established the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund for women seeking an automotive technical education. Davis, a Universal Technical Institute graduate and NASCAR Sprint Cup official, died tragically earlier this year at age 28, and is honored by this scholarship created to encourage women to seek a career in the automotive industry. The Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund is intended to provide an opportunity for a qualified female student who wishes to attend the NASCAR Technical Automotive Program at the UTI's NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, N.C. Each year a $10,000 scholarship will be presented to one student to attend NASCAR Tech. Criteria and application information for this scholarship is available on the UTI Foundation website at UTIFoundation.net. The inaugural scholarship was made possible by proceeds raised through an online auction of the NASCAR Performance Show Car during The NASCAR Foundation's initiatives for NASCAR Day 2008. The NASCAR Foundation started NASCAR Day five years ago to bring together fans, corporations, schools and organizations to raise money for others who need it most. At this year's event, NASCAR enthusiasts were invited to make monetary contributions and bid on the NASCAR Performance Show Car donated to The NASCAR Foundation by NASCAR's Automotive Aftermarket Department. Every dollar of the $16,000 winning bid for the car has been designated for the Brienne Davis Scholarship Fund. Future years of the program will rely on funding through charitable contributions made to the UTI Foundation and The NASCAR Foundation. Those interested in contributing to the fund should go the UTIFoundation.net or nascar.com/foundation.(NASCAR PR)(7-3-2008)
- Carrying on the family tradition: Another Pressley, Robert's 19-year-old son Coleman, is working his way up NASCAR's career ladder. In just his second full season behind the wheel of a Late Model car, he's battling for the Whelen All-American Series national championship. The youngest Pressley has been racing at many of the same tracks where his father and grandfather once enjoyed much success. His primary track is Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina, and he also competes at Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina.. He plans to make several Craftsman Truck Series starts this season, advancing from half-mile tracks to 1.5-mile ovals, gaining enough experience to be cleared to run the full season beginning at Daytona next year. He's already in the driver-development program at JTG Motorsports. Although he's already thinking about some truck series starts later this season, he's being careful to not lose his concentration on the immediate task at hand. "Right now the focus is on winning that national championship," he said. "I've got the Pressley family name behind me, and I want to bring it back to NASCAR."(Owen Sound Sun Times)(7-3-2008)
- DEI Nationwide Team in 2009: Bob Diller interviewed DEI development drivers Trevor Bayne and Jeffrey Earnhardt during Speed Channel's coverage of Nationwide Series practice. They announced that DEI would run a full time Nationwide team next year for the two of them. In addition, Earnhardt will run some some Nationwide races later this year. If sponsorship is obtained, they may bring along Jesus Hernandez as well.(6-27-2008)
- Penske Racing teams up with Cunningham Motorsports: Helping to pave the way for its continued success in stock car racing, Penske Racing today announced an official developmental partnership with Cunningham Motorsports. With the consistent growth of Penske Racing, which currently competes with three Dodge Chargers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and one Dodge Charger in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, the 2008 Daytona 500 championship team is eager to add to its history of motorsports success. As it looks for talented personnel to join the team in the future, Penske Racing will partner with Cunningham Motorsports, an established and proven team across the developmental racing ranks. Through this partnership, Penske Racing will work with the Cunningham Motorsports teams racing in USAC Midget, ARCA RE/MAX Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition. Penske Racing will also help develop the talented young drivers in the Cunningham Motorsports program as well as identify potential crew and team members to add to its staff in the future. In addition, the partnership will provide Penske Racing another source for testing as well as engine and chassis development as it continues to enhance its program. Over the past several years, Cunningham Motorsports has played a key role in the Dodge Motorsports driver development program. By establishing the relationship with Penske Racing, Cunningham Motorsports aligns itself with one of Dodge's top teams competing in NASCAR. Cunningham Motorsports was founded in 1996 by Briggs Cunningham and Kerry Scherer. During the time since, the team has run in the ARCA RE/MAX Series and in NASCAR in the Craftsman Truck, Nationwide and Sprint Cup series. Since 2001, Cunningham Motorsports has partnered with Dodge to develop drivers for NASCAR. Among those who have driven for the team include Chase Miller, Josh Wise, Steven Wallace, Scott Lagasse Jr. and Marc Mitchell - all of whom are racing in either the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or the Nationwide Series. (Penske Racing PR)(6-13-2008)
- Matt Martin quits racing: #8-Mark Martin worked with his son, Matt, at local race tracks for years. Now, though, Matt Martin has decided to walk away from the sport - and that's just fine with his dad. Mark Martin, who has raced in NASCAR since 1981, with a two-year break in 1984 and 1985, says that his 16-year-old son is now "just being a kid. [He] makes great grades," Martin said. "[He's] just a good kid." Martin has no concerns whatsoever about his son's decision not to follow in his own path, either. "I'm relieved," Martin said Friday at Pocono Raceway, where he'll race this weekend as part of his limited schedule with Dale Earnhardt Inc. "He's talking about college. A little different path than I took, so that's good."(SceneDaily)(6-8-2008)
- Stenhouse wins ARCA Pocono 200: ARCA RE/MAX Series point leader Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. [Roush Fenway Racing development driver] survived a late-race restart and a last-lap charge from a Red Bull to win the wild Pocono 200 Saturday afternoon at Pocono Raceway. Stenhouse, in the #99 Roush Fenway Racing-Con Way Freight Ford, also became the first repeat winner in 2008 after eight events. Scott Speed finished second in the #2-Red Bull Toyota.(ARCARacing.com)(6-8-2008)
- TRG Motorsports signs George to development deal: TRG Motorsports announced today the signing of Tim George, Jr. to a multi-year driver developmental program focused on building George's stock car racing skills. George is scheduled to participate in several ARCA Re/Max Series test sessions and late model races in 2008, with the goal of running full-time in the ARCA Re/Max series in 2009 with an eye on NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition in 2010. George, 27, currently drives for Buckler under The Racer's Group banner and is leading the points standings in the MESCO Rookie of the Year competition in the Grand American Rolex, presented by Crown Royal Cask 16.(TRG Motorsports PR)(6-4-2008)
- Annett to run seven races for BDR: UPDATE First up The Milwaukee Mile: Ray Dunlap reported during the SPEED/TV qualifing broadcast that Bill Davis Racing development driver, Michael Annett will be sharing the #22 ride with Scott Speed and will be running seven truck race events in 2008. Speed will miss some races as he is focused on attempting to win the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship.(5-30-2008)
UPDATE: Driver Michael Annett will celebrate his 22nd birthday two days early when he joins Bill Davis Racing's #22 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team in June at The Milwaukee Mile. Annett is part of Bill Davis Racing's driver developmental program, and he will shift his focus from the ARCA RE/MAX Series ranks to one of NASCAR's premiere divisions. Annett will share the seat of the #22 Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra with Red Bull Racing's Scott Speed for the remainder of the 2008 season.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(6-3-2008)
- NASCAR Diversity Internship program enters 9th year: Seventeen students from across the country were selected to participate in the 2008 NASCAR Diversity Internship Program. The program, which begins June 2, gives minority college students the opportunity to complete a 10-week, paid summer internship within the NASCAR industry. The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program features internships offered by NASCAR offices, sponsors, licensees, teams, tracks and broadcast partners. In addition to NASCAR corporate offices in Daytona Beach, Charlotte, New York and Los Angeles, the following companies are participating in 2008: Brandsense Partners, Daytona International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports, Images USA, International Speedway Corporation (ISC), JHE Production Group, Just Marketing International, Motorsports Authentics, Octagon, Roush Fenway Racing, SPEED (FOX Entertainment Group) and The Specialized Marketing Group.
2008 Diversity Internship Class:
Robert Braswell, NC Agricultural State University, SPEED
Tyler Cheatham, Florida A&M University, JHE Production Group
Zena Conway, Johnson C. Smith Univeristy, NASCAR Diversity Affairs (Daytona Beach)
Brittney Eustache, NC State University, Roush Fenway Racing
Chris Garcy, Florida Int'l University, ISC
Allison Gordon, Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, Daytona Int'l Speedway
Amanda Hauck, The College of New Jersey, NASCAR Partnership/Corporate Marketing (New York)
De"Marcus Miller, High Point University, NASCAR Licensing (Charlotte)
Mariel Moorer, University of Michigan, NASCAR Entertainment (Los Angeles)
Merle Pearce, Oklahoma State University, Hendrick Motorsports
Michael Press, Johnson C. Smith, Motorsports Authentics
Kris Rincon, University of Arizona, Brandsense Partners
Joshlyn Ross, Clark Atlanta University, Images USA
Donald Rouse, Johnson & Wales University (Charlotte Campus), Octagon
Derek Russell, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Specialized Marketing Group
Mary Shen, University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Just Marketing international
Gabriel Thomas, Virginia State University, Motorsports Authentics
- Craftsman to host Urban Youth Racing School guests at Dover: Series sponsor, Craftsman, will host some 80 guests from the Urban Youth Racing School -Philadelphia Campus, for Friday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Dover International Speedway. 60 students and 20 chaperones will attend the Sixth Annual "Dover Day at the Races" where they will tour the Craftsman Mobile Marketing Display and enjoy lunch and pre-race festivities before taking to their seats for 250 laps of exciting Craftsman Truck Series racing at Dover's famed "Monster Mile." Since it's inception in 1998, UYRS has had over 1100 children go through its 10 week Build A Dream" and Team Development Programs involving over 60 mentors who have been a part of the school for over seven years. Additionally, the school has given away over $60,000 in educational scholarships, taken 50 UYRS students to Charlotte, North Carolina to visit and intern with NASCAR race teams, and participates in the annual Sears Craftsman/UYRS weeklong internship program. UYRS is committed to making diversity and youth issues a national priority (Urban Youth Racing School PR)(5-29-2008)
- GameStop Sponsoring Logano: Joe Gibbs Racing officials announced that GameStop, the world's largest video game retailer, will sponsor Joey Logano in his Nationwide Series debut May 31 at Dover. The Grapevine, Texas-based company will continue to serve as Logano's primary sponsor on the #20 Toyota during the series' next race June 7 at Nashville and again Sept. 7 at Richmond while providing associate sponsorship for the remainder of Logano's 18-race Nationwide Series schedule.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(5-24-2008)
- Toyota & Michael Waltrip Racing announce one-year diversity apprenticeship: Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. and Michael Waltrip Racing have joined forces to offer a one year apprenticeship to a deserving diversity graduate of Toyota's Technician Training and Education Network program. The selected diversity candidate will be relocated to North Carolina and placed in a technical position within the MWR organization, directly involved with the teams' NASCAR participation. The candidate will have a strong technical background and will be assigned to a specific department within the MWR race shop, depending on the winner's skill set. The application process, including pre-screening and final candidate selections will be administered by Educational Testing Service's Scholarship & Recognition Programs beginning immediately. SRP will design and develop an application that will be distributed to all Technician Training and Education Network schools nationwide, along with a letter of instruction and promotional materials to assist with promoting the apprenticeship. Each school will be invited to nominate students to participate in this unique opportunity with Toyota NASCAR Scholarship competition. Nominees and applicants will be selected from T-TEN graduating classes from September 2006 to the present. SRP will assemble a selection committee that will review the application materials and identify the top three candidates. The finalists are scheduled to be interviewed by Michael Waltrip Racing and one candidate will be afforded the chance to participate in this unique opportunity. The fortunate candidate is scheduled to be announced by September 1, with a tentative start date of October 1.(Michael Waltrip Racing)(5-22-2008)
- Harraka picked up third Whelen Series win: Paul Harraka, a member of NASCAR's Drive For Diversity program, picked up his third NASCAR Whelen All-American Series win of the season in Saturday night's Late Model feature event at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif.(NASCAR PR)(5-19-2008)
- Development drivers fare well at Iowa: Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis (#18 Slim Jim Toyota) finished second in the US Cellular 200 at Iowa Speedway, holding off a late charge from Kahne (#9 Budweiser Dodge).[Race winner; Brian Ickler - #15 Ickler Motorsports Chevy]. The Dale Earnhardt Inc. trio of Trevor Bayne, Jeffrey Earnhardt and Jesus Hernandez finished fourth through sixth, respectively. Eighteen-year-old Austin Dillon, Richard Childress' grandson, won his first Coors Light Pole Award in his second career start and finished seventh.(NASCAR PR)(5-19-2008)
- Stroupe becomes youngest PASS Super Late Model winner: SPEED broadcaster Bob Dillner's short track development team, BDI Racing, and its driver Zach Stroupe made history on Saturday, May 10th, when the 15-year-old racer became the youngest-ever winner in Pro All Stars Series(PASS) Super Late Model history. Stroupe, in the MAC Tools #51Chevy Impala SS, qualified on the outside pole, started fifth after the re-draw, and quickly worked his way to the lead that he kept for much of the "Mom 150" PASS South event at Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia. Stroupe took the lead for the final time with 31 laps remaining and had to hold off the charges of the all-time PASS South wins leader Corey Williams and NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Kyle Busch's development driver Alex Haase for the victory.(BDI Racing PR)(5-12-2008)
- Stenhouse scores first ARCA Series win; assumes points lead: In a caution-laden race at Kentucky Speedway, Roush Fenway Racing's up-and-comer Ricky Stenhouse Jr. emerged victorious in only his sixth career ARCA RE/MAX Series (and stock car) start. The 20-year old from Olive Branch, Miss. qualified a disappointing 15th for Saturday night's event, but picked his way through traffic picking off the competition one-by-one overtaking leaders Scott Speed and Michael Annett during three late-race cautions to cross the line first. Stenhouse's finish also launched him to first in the overall point standings six weeks into the 2008 season.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(5-11-2008)
- Logano wins ARCA race at Rockingham: Joey Logano, in the #25 Venturini Motorsports-prepared Joe Gibbs Racing Oil-Gresham & Associates Chevy, led 257 of 312 laps to conquer the "Rock" in his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series start in the Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway. Logano also earned the Aaron's Lap Leader award for leading the most laps. Outside of a late-race wrestling match with Ken Schrader and mid-race battle with Michael Annett and Matt Hawkins, Logano had nary a challenger during the 500 kilometer/312-mile race.(more info and results at ARCARacing.com)(5-5-2008)
- Stenhouse successfully tackles "The Rock": Rockingham Speedway has sat dormant since 2004 when Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag for the final time at the one-mile oval but Sunday, the track came alive as the ARCAR RE/MAX Series marked the return of racing to "The Rock". Roush Fenway's newest driver took over the reigns and didn't disappoint behind the wheel of the #99 Ford. With good pit strategy, a little coaching, some tire management and patience, Development driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. captured the second starting spot and raced his way to a third place finish, his second top-five finish in a row.(Roush Fenway Racing PR)(5-5-2008)
- Logano's Rockingham run to kick off biggest month of career: May 24th to be exact, means Logano's 18th birthday. Teenagers typically anticipate their 18th birthday for various reasons, but Logano's ability to make his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start one week later on May 31st is one of the most anticipated events not only in his life, but also for the many fans the youngster won over through his years on the short tracks of the country. To help tune up for his May 31st NASCAR Nationwide Series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing, Logano will team up with former ARCA RE/MAX Series winner Billy Venturini and the Venturini Motorsports team for the Carolina 500 ARCA event at Rockingham Speedway on May 4th.(JoeyLoganoRacing.com)(4-29-2008)
- Dillon finishes second; Carmichael sixth in Camping World debut: UPDATE Dillon declared winner: 17-year old [RCR development driver, Austin] Dillon looked ready to answer anybody questioning whether he was ready to make the jump from dirt racing to a NASCAR touring division. In his series debut, Dillon, the grandson of Sprint Cup Series team owner Richard Childress, led 75 of the 156 laps run after starting 5th at the Camping World East season opener at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Easley, SC. Motocross legend Ricky Carmichael shined in his series debut at Greenville, bringing his Ken Schrader Racing entry home in 6th place.(Hartford Courant)(4-21-2008)
UPDATE: [Austin] Dillon who led 75 of 156 laps at Greenville-Pickens, settled for the runner-up spot to Sellers on Saturday. But, upon further review, Dillon, was awarded the victory. NASCAR informed Andy Santerre Motorsports on Tuesday that Sellers was being stripped of his victory for a rules infraction involving the shocks on the racing winning car. The record books will show Sellers finishing 30th in the 30 car field and Dillon as a winner in his Camping World East Series debut. Dillon is running full-time this season for Andy Santerre Motorsports in a #3 car similar to the one driven by the late Dale Earnhardt when he ran in the Sprint Cup Series for Childress.(Hartford Courant)(4-23-2008)
- Harraka claims first victory of season for Drive for Diversity: Drive for Diversity participant Paul Harraka claimed his first NASCAR Whelen All-American Series victory in the season opener at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. on Saturday night. Harraka started fourth in the #16 Ruth's Chris Steak House Toyota Camry after an invert of the top-six qualifiers. . Harraka took the lead on lap 45 of the 50-lap feature event and held on to win by 0.798 seconds. Harraka, of Fair Lawn, N.J., finished second in the 2007 All American Speedway Late Model point standings with 11 top fives and 14 top 10s in 17 starts. He was also earned Rookie of the Year honors. Harraka will return to the track at All American Speedway on Saturday, April 19.(NASCAR PR)(4-9-2008)
- Schiller-Pfeiffer to Serve as associate sponsor for JGR development driver Marc Davis in NASCAR Camping World Series: Schiller-Pfeiffer, Inc., a maker of outdoor lawn, turf care and gardening products, will sponsor Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Marc Davis in 15 NASCAR Camping World Series races in 2008. The Southampton, Pa.-based company will rotate its Little Wonder, Mantis and affiliated BOB-CAT brands on Davis' No. 18 Toyota Camry as the 17-year-old competes for a second season in the Camping World Series. Schiller-Pfeiffer and its brands will make their collective NASCAR debut April 10 at Phoenix International Raceway in the Camping World Series West division. The logos of Little Wonder, Mantis and BOB-CAT will rotate during Davis' entire 13-race Camping World Series East schedule, as well as during his return visit to the ranks of the Camping World Series West on June 21 when he competes at the Infineon Raceway road course in Sonoma, Calif.(Joe Gibbs Racing PR)(4-7-2008)
- King earns third-place finish for Drive for Diversity: Lindsey King, driver of the #59 High Point Racing Chevy, earned the first podium finish of her late model career Saturday night in the Auto Club Late Model event at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. King finished third in the 40-lap main event after qualifying sixth out of 28 cars. King, a first-year participant in the Drive for Diversity program, is in her second year of competition at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. Last season, King finished 12th in the Late Model point standings with four top-10 finishes. King, of Cherry Valley, Calif., will return to the track at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale Saturday, April 12 with High Point Racing.(NASCAR PR)(4-1-2008)
- Logano quickest in morning ARCA test session at Rockingham: ARCA RE/MAX Series rookie Joey Logano, in the #25 Venturini Motorsports Chevy, was the quickest in morning testing here Friday at Rockingham Speedway. The Middletown, Connecticut driver timed in at 25.195 seconds around the historic, high-banked mile oval for an average speed of 142.885 mph. Logano races under the Joe Gibbs Racing banner, and will be making his career-first ARCA RE/MAX Series attempt in the upcoming May 4th, Carolina 500 at Rockingham.(ARCA Racing PR)(3-21-2008)
- Logano's schedule taking shape: Joey Logano might be a phenom behind the wheel of a racecar, but he’s not a good racing fan. May 24 can’t come quick enough for the Joe Gibbs Racing developmental driver from Middletown. That’s the day he turns 18 and becomes eligible to race in the Nationwide Series. Logano will make his Nationwide Series debut May 31 at Dover. Until then he pretty much, grudgingly, has to play the part of racing fan. Logano will compete in all but three of the final 22 Nationwide Series events this season. He will miss the Nationwide Series events at New Hampshire International Motor Speedway (June 28), Daytona International Speedway (July 4) and Chicagoland Speedway (July 11). Logano said he does not have approval yet to run Daytona and that Tony Stewart has sponsor obligations to run Chicagoland and New Hampshire. Logano said missing out on the event at New Hampshire was a tough one to swallow considering it’s the track closest to home and a place where he swept the two Camping World East Series events in 2007.(Hartford Courant)(3-18-2008)
- Tiffany Daniels honored by Lyn St. James with Kara Hendrick Memorial Award: Tiffany Daniels participated in and completed Phase Two of the [Winners Circle Foundation 2007-2008 Driver Development Program and along the way was presented with a prestigious honor, the Kara Hendrick Memorial Award. The highlight of the two-day event for Tiffany was the presentation of the Kara Hendrick Memorial Award, an honor given in the past to midget racer Shannon McIntosh, stock-car racer Allison Quick, NASCAR Whelen Featherlite driver Renee Dupuis and open-wheel racer Danica Patrick. "The Kara Hendrick Memorial award is given out by Lyn St. James in memory of the late Kara Hendrick, a USAC driver who was killed the day she set a track record at one of her local tracks," explained Tiffany. "Lyn gives out the award when she sees someone that has similar spirit and talent to Kara Hendrick.(TiffDaniels.com)(3-18-2008)
- Key Motorsports working on development program for Dustin Skinner: Key Motorsports has established a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver development program for 22-year-old son Dustin Skinner - the youngest son of former NCTS driving champion Mike Skinner. That project entered the action phase recently whenthe parties tested for two days at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida - Dustin's home track. The game plan is to raise enough money from sponsors to continue the testing process and to run Dustin in a maximum of six NCTS races in 2008 beginning with half-mile venues. Upcoming NCTS races at the Mansfield Motorsports Park in Ohio, the Milwaukee Mile; Kentucky Speedway; the O'Reilly Motorsports Park in Indianapolis; the Gateway International Raceway outside of St. Louis, and the Texas Motor Speedway are the target venues. Key is committed to the program but needs sponsorship support to maintain it.The first priority for the program is to secure financial support for the program and Key's #44 race truck and to allow for more testing opportunities. As more money is secured, more races will be added to the schedule that will provide Dustin with the experience that will ultimately have NASCAR approving him for all tracks up to 2 miles in length.(Key Motorsports PR)(3-17-2008)
- New Scholarship Program for female race car drivers - Project Podium: Founder Lyn St. James Opens Online Application; Deadline March 31. Project Podium, founded by entrepreneur and former Indy 500 driver Lyn St. James, is the newest program of Women in the Winners Circle Foundation, and is designed to empower active young female race car drivers to help further their early professional careers. Up to $50,000 in scholarships are available to young women drivers who compete in all forms of motorsports: karting, quarter midgets, drag racing, sports car and oval track racing. Project Podium is unique in that an applicant will only be considered eligible if there is proof that funds equal to the scholarship amount requested have been raised from sponsorship for her racing. This approach exposes drivers to the business aspect of the racing industry. Drivers can apply for a scholarship by submitting their biography, racing resume, driver/team sponsorship information and a written request in 250 words or less. Applications can be downloaded from LynStJames.com.(3-14-2008)
- Twenty-three female drivers participate in Winner's Circle Foundation Driver Development Program: A full "field" of 23 female racing drivers, ages 12 to 26, completed Phase 2 of the 14th annual Women in the Winner's Circle Foundation Driver Development Program, held at the National Institute of Fitness and Sport in Indianapolis on March 1-2. Founded by Lyn St. James, the 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year and a motivational speaker, the Women in the Winner¹s Circle Foundation Driver Development Program has graduated over 200 female race-car drivers since 1994. The drivers go through an intensive schedule of fitness and motivational programs, as well as seminars and instruction in the business of auto racing, including public relations, sponsorship, money management, and media training. Last week's program followed Phase 1, which was held in Phoenix, Ariz., in Nov. 2007, at Athlete's Performance, an elite athlete fitness facility. Each driver from Phase 1 was invited back to Phase 2. The 23 drivers who returned for the business programs in Phase 2 were also re-tested for allthe fitness and mental exercises they learned in Phase 1 by Dr. Jacques Dallaire of Prime Performance. All results will be reviewed and drivers will learn if they are invited to attend Phase 3, which will focus on the technical and on-track elements of racing. Phase 3 is scheduled for June of 2008. The drivers invited to the program come from a variety of disciplines, including stock-car racing, road-racing, open-wheel racing, quarter-midget and go-kart competition, among many others. The primary criteria for being invited to the Driver Development Program is that St. James personally looks at each resume and determines the person who has a lot of experience, has established some success and appears to have the ingredients and potential to be successful. For more information visit the Winner's Circle Foundation.(3-13-2008)
- Carmichael to run East series for Schrader: Motocross legend Ricky Carmichael will be running for a championship this season in the Camping World East Series for Ken Schrader Racing with backing from Hendrick Motorsports, his manager Scott Taylor said Thursday. Carmichael will be sponsored by Monster energy drink. Carmichael, 28, who retired from full-time motocross racing after 2006 is trying to make his way up the rungs of the stock racing ladder. Carmichael had been under contract as a driver last year with former Sprint Cup Series team owner Bobby Ginn and raced about 15 Late Model events around Florida last summer. Carmichael won 10 consecutive AMA national motocross championships from 1997 - 2006. Carmichael, who began competing in Motocross at age 5, said he was feeling unchallenged by Motocross when he made the decision to retire. He competed part time in 2007 but said his only interest now is as a test rider for Suzuki. The Camping World East Series runs 13 events this season. Carmichael may also run selected events in the Camping World West Series.(Hartford Courant) on ESPN2's NASCAR Now it was reported that DEI and Ricky Carmichael were trying to work on a deal to have Carmichael run the Camping World East Series, but they couldn't work out a deal and they parted ways.(2-29-2008)
- ASA creates new short track national championship; JGR test part of prize: The American Speed Association (ASA) is breaking new ground once again, by unveiling plans for an innovative Short Track National Championship. The new plan allows competitors in any ASA Member Track's premier division to compete against each other, regardless of geographical location. ASA will create East and West divisions, with an ASA Short Track Divisional Champion crowned in each. The one driver who accumulates the most points will be named the ASA Short Track National Champion. With the title comes a cash reward, and the ultimate dream - a test session with Joe Gibbs Racing.(ASA-Racing.com)(2-27-2008)
- Germain Racing adds Chrissy Wallace to NASCAR's diversity program: Mike Wallace's daughter Chrissy has been picked up by the team [Germain Racing] for NASCAR's diversity program. She'll start driving in ARCA and short-track races in June. "She's a good, real cute girl who will mix it up with the guys," [Bob] Germain said. "The first team that gets one female driver in the Cup will be helped from a marketing standpoint." (The News-Press)(2-19-2008)
- Bill Davis Racing's Annett wins Daytona ARCA race: Michael Annett survived a crash-heavy ARCA 200 to win the event Saturday at Daytona Int'l Speedway. Annett, driving for Bill Davis Racing, held off Frank Kimmel late in the race, then pulled away to take the win. He's debuted on two restrictor-plate tracks with victories - he won in his first ARCA race at Talladega Superspeedway as well. Annett says that he's looking at doing 10 to 12 ARCA races with the team and that he could drive in the Nationwide Series with the team before the season ends.(SceneDaily.com)(2-10-2008)
- Goodyear announces diversity program: Company Offers At-Track-Experiences and $40,000 in Scholarships: As the exclusive tire supplier of NASCAR's three largest series, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company officially unveiled the Goodyear Racing and Diversity Program, an initiative the company started to provide High School students with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the many career paths offered through the sport of NASCAR. The program, offered in six areas including Daytona Beach, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Dover (DE), will provide more than 60 interested minority students annually with a graduated program of at-track experiences, internships and ultimately, the opportunity to receive one of six scholarships to help continue their education. As part of the announcement, Goodyear introduced its first two race weekend internship recipients, Eboni Washington and Rodrigo "Rod" Bernal. Eboni and Rod, both seniors at Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, will work in their fields of interest with established professionals on
Saturday, February 16th leading into the NASCAR Nationwide Series Race and on Sunday, February 17th leading into the 50th running of the Daytona 500. In its first year, the Goodyear Racing and Diversity program has already provided more than 60 high school students from across the country the chance to experience NASCAR first-hand and receive a behind-the-scenes look at a NASCAR race. Students participating in these events had to maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and be in good standing in their school and local community to become eligible to apply for race-weekend internships. Once selected, students are paired with one or more 'mentors' in career areas of interest to them for two, six-hour days of work. Those students who complete their race-weekend internships are then eligible to apply for one of six scholarships, including five $2,000 awards and one $30,000 scholarship to be used towards their continuing education. Over the last 50 years, Goodyear has worked to bring innovation to its racing products, which, in turn, has helped foster heightened competition on the track. Since it first began supplying tires to NASCAR, Goodyear tires have logged 1,446 Sprint Cup Series victories, and the number continues to rise. Goodyear consumer tires are inspired by the innovations and cutting-edge technology from the race track.(Goodyear Racing PR)(2-5-2008)
- Annett makes Daytona debut in ARCA 200: BDR development driver, Michael Annett will be making his debut at Daytona Int'l Speedway in the ARCA 200 this weekend. The only time he has ever driven on the 2.5-mile superspeedway was in a test session earlier this year. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC will serve as sponsor of Annett and his #28 Toyota Camry this weekend. Pilot Travel Centers is the nation's largest operator of travel centers and over-the-road diesel fuel stations.(Bill Davis Racing PR)(2-5-2008)
- IBEW sponsor teen driver's run at NASCAR history: The National Labor Management Cooperation Committee, a joint entity of the National Electrical Contractors Association and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), announced that it has signed on as sole sponsor of 19-year-old racing phenom Alli Owens, powering her quest to become the first woman to successfully climb the ladder in stock car auto racing. The sponsorship will run through the 2008 racing season featuring Alli in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.(PR Newswire)(1-29-2008)
- JGR's development driver, Marc Davis to ring closing bell at NY Stock Exchange: In what could be a prelude of things to come, Marc Davis, the 17-year-old development driver for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), will travel to New York on Feb. 6 to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Davis is literally on the fast track to becoming a regular in NASCAR's top touring division. And while it's typically the Sprint Cup Series champion who rings the closing bell on the exchange, Davis will do it to ring in Black History Month. The driver development program was founded by Joe Gibbs, a winner of three Super Bowls as head coach of the NFL's Washington Redskins and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and the late Reggie White. In partnership with White, a Hall of Fame defensive end who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers during a 15-year NFL career, JGR formed the driver development program in May 2003 to create a grassroots stock car team that would identify and assist minorities with the desire and talent to make a career in motorsports. In January 2004, the program became reality, thanks in large part to the support of JGR's sponsors. Davis is the latest driver to find success with JGR. He won multiple races at Hickory in the Limited Late Model and Late Model ranks, and when he won his first race on March 25, 2006, he became just the second African-American to win a stock car race at Hickory, joining Bristol. In 2008, Davis will continue in the Camping World Series East division, and continue his quest toward a full-time drive in NASCAR's pinnacle division - the Sprint Cup Series.(NASCAR Media)(1-22-2008)
- Eight-member D4D class announced for '08 season: The 2008 Drive for Diversity class was announced Monday by Access Marketing & Communications, marking the start of the fifth season for the NASCAR industry's on-track driver development program. The eight drivers on the 2008 roster, including three first time program participants, will compete in the Camping World Series and the Whelen All-American Series.
The Drive for Diversity program is entering its fifth season and is NASCAR's leading on-track diversity initiative. The program is designed to give minority and female drivers an opportunity to compete with established NASCAR teams. In 2008, four drivers will compete in the Camping World Series and four drivers will compete in the Whelen All-American Series. Over 200 drivers submitted resumes to participate in the program this year. Twenty-four of those drivers were selected to participate in the annual Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine held at South Boston Speedway last October. At the Combine, drivers were evaluated based on their on- and off-track performance. The following eight drivers were selected by their respective team owners to compete in the program in 2008:
- Kristin Bumbera of Sealy, Tex., will race in the Whelen All-American Series for Golden State Racing. Bumbera is the first female to win a late model race at Houston Motorsports Park and the first female to lead the point standings in a Texas late model series.
- Michael Cherry of Valrico, Fla., will race in the Whelen All-American Series for FDJ Motorsports. Cherry won the 2007 Sportsman Division Championship at Hendry County (Fla.) Speedway with 17 wins and 19 top-fives in 19 starts.
- Michael Gallegos of Wheat Ridge, Colo., returns to the Drive for Diversity program for the fourth season and will race in the Camping World Series West for RTD Motorsports. Gallegos earned the D4D program's first pole position at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway in 2005.
- Paul Harraka of Fairlawn, N.J., returns to the Drive for Diversity program and will again race in the Whelen All-American Series for Bill McAnally Racing. Harraka finished second in the point standings at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. last season.
- Jesus Hernandez of Fresno, Calif., returns to the Drive for Diversity program for the fourth season and will race in the Camping World Series East for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Hernandez finished 15th in the Camping World Series East point standings last season.
- Lindsey King of Cherry Valley, Calif., will race for High Point Racing in the Whelen All-American Series at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. Last season, King finished 12th in the Late Model point standings at Irwindale Speedway with four top-10 finishes.
- Lloyd Mack of Los Angeles, Calif., returns to the Drive for Diversity program for a second season and will race in the Camping World Series for Roadrunner Motorsports. Mack has won two national karting championships, a World Karting Association championship and five California state championships.
- Jonathan Smith of Beacon Falls, Conn., returns to the Drive for Diversity program for a second season and will race in the Camping World Series East for TW Motorsports. Last year, as a rookie, Smith finished 17th in the Camping World Series East point standings.(NASCAR Media)(1-21-2008)
- JTG Racing continues development program: JTG Racing will continue its productive Driver Development program. Scott Lagasse will pilot the #20 Craftsman Truck Series entry with guidance from veteran Crew Chief Gary Cogswell. JTG will again help field the burgeoning career of Coleman Pressley, son of former JTG and Winston Cup driver Robert Pressley. Comments co-owner Jodi Geschickter, "We will continue to watch Coleman's progress as he tours multiple tracks in his NASCAR Late Model and runs a limited ARCA schedule. Now that he is a High School graduate, he's at the race shop full time and it's great to have him around. It's early in his career, but his personality and multiple wins the past two seasons have the team convinced that he will be a winner for JTG Racing for years to come."(JTG Racing PR)(1-15-2008)
- Wise schedule cut back? Hearing that lack of sponsorship has Michael Waltrip Racing cutting back on development driver, Josh Wise. The plan was to run select Nationwide and Truck Series races and maybe even a Cup race or two in the #00 Toyota.(1-10-2008)
- Carmichael could drive for DEI in 2008: Mark Martin said DEI is negotiating to sign motocross star Ricky Carmichael to drive a full Camping World East Series (formerly Busch East) schedule this year. "Ricky has the fire, desire and talent to do this stuff,'' said Martin, who worked with Carmichael at Ginn Racing before the merger with DEI last season.(ESPN.com)(1-8-2008)
- Wease readies for West Series run with Penske: Billy Wease's dream of racing stock cars for a living are becoming a reality, as the Noblesville native packs up his helmet and heads out west to join the Grand National West Series [Camping World West Series] for the 2008 season. "Im really pumped about this venture. We will be looking to get tons of seat time as we chase the Rookie of the Year title as well as the overall Championship. This is a start up team with Penske Racing but we have a lot of resources coming from Mooresville and with the success we have in stock cars there we look to be competitive immediately." The Penske Developmental Driver will attempt his first stock car race since June of 2006 when he finished 2nd in the ARCA/ReMax Series at Michigan International Speedway.(Billy Wease PR)(1-3-2008)