Friday, October 25, 2013

NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine

Day 2 October 22 NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine

NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine
Coach Phil Horton addresses the drivers before their fitness assessment tests
Monday at Hampton University. (Jason Christley/NASCAR)
Langley Speedway’s repaving last winter provided an added challenge for the 20 drivers participating in the 2013 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine. Not only did the already tough .4-mile oval get faster, it meant even the drivers who had previously competed in the Combine there faced new conditions.

Drivers got their first look at Langley Speedway on iRacing simulators at Hampton University
Driver on iRacing Simulators
(Getty Images for NASCAR)

The drivers passed that test Tuesday with flying colors.

After spending Monday at Hampton University with the fitness and iRacing evaluations, the drivers were eager to climb into one of three Late Models outfitted for the day-long practice session Tuesday. Each of the 20 drivers went out for individual sessions in the morning, and then returned to the car for longer single-car runs in the afternoon.

"It is a very demanding track," said Rev Racing CEO and owner Max Siegel. "We chose it initially so we can get a feel for the skills of the drivers. Our evaluation has expanded. We're giving them more seat time out there on the track. And just working here with the management at Langley Speedway and the NASCAR officials has been a great step for the program."

For many, like Paige Decker of Eagle River, Wis., it wasn’t just a new track, but a different car.

"I'm comfortable on this track, so it was really just learning how to ease into the gas," said Decker. "I'm used to driving a Super Late Model, so I'm trying to tone down my driving a lot for this kind of car."

Decker participated in the Combine last year. This year, her younger sister Claire and cousin Natalie also earned the opportunity to try out for the 2014 Rev Racing team.

Day 1 October 21 NASCAR
Drive For Diversity Combine

Drivers got their first look at Langley Speedway on iRacing simulators at Hampton University
Driver on iRacing Simulators
(Getty Images for NASCAR)
Twenty drivers arrived in Hampton, Va., eager to show off their driving skills at the 2013 Drive For Diversity Combine. First, though, they were put through the paces Monday with the equally important off-track assessments at Hampton University.

This is the third year the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program – created in 2004 and now executed by Rev Racing – has partnered with Hampton. The NASCAR D4D program is designed to identify and train young female and diverse drivers at the grass roots level who demonstrate necessary talent to climb the ranks within the motorsport industries.

The drivers, who represent 12 U.S. states and Mexico and come from a wide array of racing experience, took part in physical training assessment as well as driver evaluation on Rev Racing’s iRacing simulators Monday.

“All of the drivers in this combine are going to come away from this experience better prepared as drivers,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “In addition to gaining valuable seat time and direction from some of the leading officials in the sport, they’re also going to better understand the physical training that’s required to be successful in the sport.

“There really are no losers. One group – the group that’s selected – will obviously have an opportunity to race with Rev Racing. Those who aren’t selected will come away from this experience as better drivers.”

Langley Speedway hosted the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine
Langley Speedway hosted the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine
for the third straight year. (Getty Images for NASCAR)

The 2013 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine participants include:

  1. Devon Amos, 22 Rio Rancho, N.M.
  2. Annabeth Barnes, 18 Mooresville, N.C.
  3. George Beasley, 21 Las Vegas, Nev.
  4. Nicole Behar, 15 Otis Orchards, Wash.
  5. Ryan Bernal, 19 Hollister, Calif.
  6. Collin Cabre, 19 Thonotosassa, Fla.
  7. Meagan Creech, 20 Ashland, Va.
  8. Claire Decker, 18 Eagle River, Wis.
  9. Paige Decker, 20 Eagle River, Wis.
  10. Natalie Decker, 16 Eagle River, Wis.
  11. Ruben Garcia, Jr., 17 Mexico City, Mexico
  12. Blake Kisner, 18 Chanute, Kan.
  13. Katlynn Leer, 14 St. Moulton, Iowa
  14. Jack Madrid, 18 San Clemente, Calif.
  15. Hannah Newhouse, 16 Twin Falls, Idaho
  16. Sergio Pena, 20 Catharpin, Va.
  17. Dylan Smith, 21 Randolph, Vt.
  18. Kenny Stewart II, 16 Carson, Calif.
  19. Cody Thompson, 20 Fremont, Calif.
  20. Sam Wright, 18 Vancouver, Wash. 
An additional eight young drivers will join these 20 drivers on Oct. 23 and compete for the opportunity to drive for Rev Racing during the 2014 Summer Shootout Series in INEX Legends and Bandoleros.

  1. Jairo Avila, 17 Alhambra, Calif.
  2. Austin Geer, 11 Johns Creek, Ga.
  3. Kylin Hammer, 11 Meadowview, Va.
  4. Ryleigh Lemonds, 10 Yorktown, Va.
  5. Enrique Limon, 15 Mexico City, Mexico
  6. Jaiden Reyna, 7 Newport News, Va.
  7. Ashley Rogero, 15 Naples, Fla.
  8. Walter Thomas, 15 Indianapolis, Ind.

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