All posts tagged Drive for Diversity

4 Posts

women dominate drive for diversity hopefuls

Drivers at the 2009 Drive for Diversity Combine pose for a group photo before the on-track portion of the event at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)Last Monday and Tuesday was the Drive for Diversity combine at Motor Mile Speedway in Virginia. 30 candidates, the majority of which were female, were invited to compete for 10 spots in the 2010 Drive for Diversity class.

After the two-day sessions were completed the following drivers were selected: Mackena Bell, Michael Cherry, Katie Hagar, Juan Pitta, Rebecca Kasten, Paul Harraka, Jessica Brunelli, Ryan Gifford, Sergio Pena, and Darrell Wallace Jr.

My main reason for talking about the Drive for Diversity combine this year was to point out how many young female drivers are out there that want to compete in NASCAR.

These are the girls that the media should be falling all over themselves to talk about and champion. These women are the future of NASCAR and they deserve our support to get them to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. So forget about Danica for 5 seconds and take some time to learn about Mackena, Katie, Rebecca and Jessica.


Mackena Bell, of Carson City, Nev., gets driving tips during Wednesday as part of NASCAR Driver for Diversity Combine at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Mackena Bell, of Carson City, Nev., gets driving tips during Wednesday as part of NASCAR Driver for Diversity Combine at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. “I got to do so many things this year,” Bell said, “and without the Drive for Diversity program, I wouldn’t even be fortunate enough to be in a race car. I am very thankful to be back in the program this year –- at the Combine –- and am just hoping we can get a spot on Revolution Racing and we can excel from there.” (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Laura Hayes of Wilton, Calif. prepares to takes laps around Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. on Day One of the 2009 Drive for Diversity Combine. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Laura Hayes of Wilton, Calif. prepares to takes laps around Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. on Day One of the 2009 Drive for Diversity Combine. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Drivers Katie Hagar and Natalie Sather watch as fellow drivers test NASCAR Camping World series cars on Day 2 of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Drivers Katie Hagar and Natalie Sather watch as fellow drivers test NASCAR Camping World series cars on Day 2 of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Hagar’s performance at last year’s Drive for Diversity Combine Hlanded her a ride in the 2009 Drive for Diversity class with Golden State Racing, and Sather earned NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rookie of the year honors running Late Models in Washington. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dylan Smith of Randolph, Vt., watches Michael Cherry of Valrico, Fla., make laps on an iRacing simulator at Motor Mile Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Dylan Smith of Randolph, Vt., watches Michael Cherry of Valrico, Fla., make laps on an iRacing simulator at Motor Mile Speedway. (Photo Credit: Tom Whitmore/Getty Images for NASCAR)

scenes from the drive for diversity combine

Laura Hayes of Wilton, Calif. turns laps around South Boston Speedway during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)Last week was the Drive for Diversity combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. Yes, it’s a tad lame of me for writing about it now, but better late than never right?

Drive for Diversity invited 25 applicants out to the track to show off their racing skills in the hopes of being selected for the 2009 Drive for Diversity season. Fourteen drivers will be selected to be a part of four NASCAR Camping World Series teams and 10 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series teams.

“With the participation of 14 dedicated team owners, we are able to increase our national presence, as well as provide more opportunities to young minority and female drivers,” said Greg Calhoun, president of Access Marketing & Communications, which runs the Drive for Diversity program.

Increasing the number of drivers and team owners will give the program a greater presence at several well respected weekly tracks across the country. It will also increase local team owner involvement in the program. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series teams participating in the program for 2009 represent 10 different weekly tracks across eight different states, including California, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

According to my count of the combine participants 16 of them were female, which I think is super cool! It’s only a matter of time before we see women competing at NASCAR’s top level. And not just getting in for a race here and a race there, I mean having a real chance at winning, with complete support and great equipment.


Twenty-five minority and female drivers from across the country participated in the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. Ten drivers will earn rides in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and four will earn positions in the NASCAR Camping World Series. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Twenty-five minority and female drivers from across the country participated in the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. Ten drivers will earn rides in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and four will earn positions in the NASCAR Camping World Series. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Trista Stevenson of Pocahontas, Ill. is congratulated by Brett Bodine after her time on track during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Trista Stevenson of Pocahontas, Ill. is congratulated by Brett Bodine after her time on track during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Natalie Sather of Fargo, N.D. talks with Drive for Diversity program mentor Wendell Scott Jr. during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Natalie Sather of Fargo, N.D. talks with Drive for Diversity program mentor Wendell Scott Jr. during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Managing Director of Public Affairs Marcus Jadotte, who oversees the diversity department, huddles with Lyn St. James, who was offering guidance to the drivers at the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

NASCAR Managing Director of Public Affairs Marcus Jadotte, who oversees the diversity department, huddles with Lyn St. James, who was offering guidance to the drivers at the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Current Drive for Diversity participant Paul Harraka, who won the track championship at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., chats with team owner Bill McAnally during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Current Drive for Diversity participant Paul Harraka, who won the track championship at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., chats with team owner Bill McAnally during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Caitlin Shaw of Albuquerque, N.M. gets ready to get in her car during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Caitlin Shaw of Albuquerque, N.M. gets ready to get in her car during the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco at South Boston Speedway. (Photo Credit: Grant Halverson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

diverse drivers wanted

If you’re a woman or minority that has always dreamed of driving for a NASCAR team then you need to submit your application for the 2008 Drive for Diversity program ASAP! Don’t think about it, just do it… More details below.

Drive For Diversity Program Seeks Drivers For 2008 Season

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Drive for Diversity program is accepting applications from experienced drivers for the 2008 season. This will mark the fifth season for NASCAR’s leading driver development program, which provides opportunities for minority and female drivers to compete with established NASCAR teams.

Interested minority and female drivers are invited to submit their applications to Access Marketing & Communications through August 17, 2007. Selected applicants will be invited to participate in a Testing and Evaluation Combine this Fall, hosted by Access Marketing & Communications.

Drivers will have the opportunity to showcase their skills before established NASCAR team owners in an effort to earn an opportunity to compete in the Drive for Diversity program for the 2008 season. Drivers who have demonstrated their skill and have experience in grassroots racing will be considered.

“We are thrilled to have the Drive for Diversity program entering its fifth season with the support of NASCAR,” said Greg Calhoun, president and CEO of Access Marketing & Communications. “We are pleased to continue our work with the NASCAR industry and look forward to seeing another exceptional class of candidates at our fifth Testing and Evaluation Combine.”

The Drive for Diversity program is in its fourth season and is NASCAR’s leading on-track diversity initiative. This season four drivers compete in the NASCAR Grand National Division – two in the Busch East Series and two in the West Series – and three drivers compete in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.

Interested drivers should send resumes, highlight videos, on-track photos, race results, references and other supporting materials to: Drive for Diversity Competition Committee, 401 N. Tryon St, 10th Floor, Charlotte, N.C. 28202.

Resumes and supporting materials can also be e-mailed to [email protected]. All resumes and supporting materials must be postmarked no later than Thursday, August 16, 2007. Please note that applicant resumes and supporting materials will not be returned.

For more information please visit the official program website: www.drivefordiversity.com

this one’s for the girls

I’m a little late on this but I had to post this press release about a local (to me in the San Francisco Bay Area) woman who races and is a part of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program.

Jessica Helberg Earns Third-Place Finish For Drive For Diversity Program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 3, 2007) — Jessica Helberg, driving for Bill McAnally Racing and the Richard Childress Racing Development program, gave the Drive for Diversity program its first top-three finish of the season last Saturday night in front of a capacity crowd at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. Drive for Diversity participant Paulie Harraka, also driving for Bill McAnally Racing, finished the race seventh.

Saturday night was the first race of the 2007 season for Harraka and Helberg, who race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Helberg, of Rohnert Park, Calif., qualified strong and started seventh. She made the most of the abbreviated 55-lap race, crossing the line with a solid third-place finish.

“It was a great start to the season,” Helberg said. “I was able to keep my car clean and avoid the wrecks, and I’m really excited about the third-place finish.”


Congrats Jessica!