Drive For Diversity Introduces 2011 Driver Lineup
January 26, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 26, 2011) – NASCAR
and Revolution Racing announced the 2011 driver lineup – the eighth
season for the Drive for Diversity (D4D) program – tonight during
NASCAR’s annual Charlotte Media Tour at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in
year, the D4D initiative looks to build upon its success in 2010. Ten
drivers will participate in the 2011 Drive for Diversity Program – four
in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and six in the NASCAR Whelen
year, former Dale Earnhardt Inc. President Max Siegel created the
Revolution Racing team along with former DEI and Robby Gordon
Motorsports executive John Story. All 10 drivers will race for the team,
which is headquartered in Mooresville, N.C.
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East teams are operated under the direction
of four-time K&N Pro Series champion Andy Santerre, and the six
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series teams are led by former Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway track champion Blair Addis.
Racing is a minority owned NASCAR franchise whose mission is to develop
minority and female drivers, pit crew members and mechanics through an
“academy-style” training model. All D4D competitors relocated to Mooresville and entered the development program under the single team ownership structure.
team owners, John Story and I appreciate the commitment and support
NASCAR has given our academy-style training model,” Siegel said.
“Revolution Racing’s historic on-track performance last year validates
our driver development model. I am proud to be able to provide
opportunities for minority and female drivers, crew members and
its eighth season, Drive for Diversity is NASCAR’s leading on-track
diversity initiative. The program is designed to give young minority and
female drivers opportunities to compete with established NASCAR teams
at the grassroots level. Since 2004, 42 drivers have competed in Drive
for Diversity, winning 38 races.
are proud of the progress this important initiative and its drivers
have made over the past eight years,” said Marcus Jadotte, managing
director of public affairs for NASCAR. “We look forward to the continued
leadership of Max Siegel, which is bringing Drive for Diversity to the
This year’s class represents drivers from across North America. Six drivers will return from 2010.
year, the eleven drivers combined for five wins. African-American
driver Darrell Wallace Jr., who will return for his second year, earned
rookie-of-the-year honors. He became the youngest to ever win the award
in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Hispanic driver Sergio Peña won
the pole for the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Toyota Speedway in
Irwindale, Calif., then finished second to 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Rookie of the Year Joey Logano.
200 minority and female drivers applied to be part of the 2011 Drive
for Diversity class. Thirty-six of those applicants were invited to
tryout at the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco
last October at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. Drivers were
selected by Revolution Racing and NASCAR officials based on their
on-track performance and off-track interviews.
NASCAR and Revolution Racing selected the following 10 drivers to compete in the program:
- Jorge Arteaga of Aguascalientes, Mex. will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Arteaga made
three starts in the 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series including a
10th-place finish in his debut at Lee USA Speedway on July 30th. He won
the 2010 NASCAR Mexico Series Most Popular Driver Award.
- Mackena Bell
of Carson City, Nev. returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a
second season, and will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
In 2010, three of her five starts in the NASCAR Whelen All-American
Series were top fives, while her best finish came on Aug. 20 where she
- Jessica Brunelli of Hayward, Calif. will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Her 2010 season included six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. She returns to the Drive for Diversity program for a second season.
- Michael Cherry
of Valrico, Fla. returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a third
season and will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Last year
he competed in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, becoming the first
African-American to win a late model race at Tri-County Motor Speedway
in Hudson, N.C. The win also was his first career late model stock car victory.
- Trey Gibson of Easley, S.C. will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. In 2010, Gibson ran a full schedule of late model stock cars at Greenville-Pickens
Speedway where he had two poles, two wins, 11 top fives and 20 top 10s.
He made history by becoming the youngest driver to win a late model
race at the historic Greenville-Pickens Speedway.
- Ryan Gifford
of Winchester, Tenn. returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a
second season, racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Last year,
Gifford became the first African-American
in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East history to win a pole position, on
June 6. Gifford ran 10 races for Revolution Racing in 2010 in the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series East, recording four top-five finishes, one pole and
a 10th-place finish in season points.
- Tayla Orleans of Randleman, N.C. will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. From
age 7, in her first 120 races she recorded 31 wins and 92 top fives.
Since that time, she has won numerous karting championships and honors
that include becoming the youngest stock car winner in the history of
Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl history.
- Bryan Ortiz of Bayamon, Puerto Rico will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. In 2010, Ortiz drove for Sterling Marlin Racing in the Sunoco National Tour, recording a pole and four top-three finishes in seven races. He won rookie-of-the-year honors after capturing rookie of the race awards in all seven starts.
- Sergio Peña
of Winchester, Va. returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a
second season, and will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He entered his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series race at last season’s Toyota All-Star
Showdown at Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, Calif., winning the pole, and
finishing second to 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
of Mobile, Ala. will race in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, and
returns to the Drive for Diversity Program for a second season. Wallace
was the youngest and first African-American to win a race and
rookie-of-the-year honors in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He
captured two victories in the series last season – the most of any Drive
for Diversity driver last year.
About Drive for Diversity
for Diversity develops minority and female drivers in the NASCAR
K&N Pro Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Since the
creation of the Drive for Diversity program in 2004, 42 drivers have
competed, winning 38 races. Drive for Diversity also supports pit crew
athletes each year in the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Program
presented by Sprint. Much of the success of the Drive for Diversity
initiative is a result of support from key sponsors and involved team