An incredibly impressive number of applicants for the 2016 Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) has been reduced to 17 semifinalists, officials of the organization announced today. These drivers will now participate in interviews with the program’s advisory board members and seven competitors will be chosen from the group to represent the KDDP this season.
The seven selected drivers will each receive a one-time stipend of $7,777 to cover operational expenses. The organization will work to provide the drivers assistance in important aspects such as publicity, marketing, sponsorship development and industry networking during the season as they compete for the “grand prize.” The Kulwicki Cup winner will pick up an additional check worth seven times the initial award ($7,777 x 7 = $54,439) and a special trophy. Seymour, Wisconsin’s Ty Majeski was the 2015 Kulwicki Cup winner during the inaugural year for the program.
“This is a true statement as to the quality of applicants we received this time around,” said KDDP executive director Tom Roberts. “Our original goal was to pare the group down to 14 semifinalists, but after multiple votes and tiebreakers the field was narrowed down to 17 drivers.
“I applaud the tremendous job our board members have done so far in this process,” said Roberts. “I personally do not have a vote, but I challenged myself to select 14 drivers out of all the applications we received. I could not do it because I honestly felt like there were more than 30 qualified and deserving drivers who applied for our program.
“Competitors from eight states stretching from Maine to California are represented in the group selected by our board,” Roberts added. “There is so much depth in talent among these drivers. The group contains accomplished veterans, track champions and several promising young drivers who could be on the cusp of having breakout racing seasons this year. The board will face a monumental task in selecting our seven-member 2016 KDDP class from this group, but we are eager to get that process under way next week.”
The 17 KDDP semifinalists for 2016 include, in alphabetical order:
Justin Crider, 19, Statesville, N.C.
2 Top-5s in CARS Tour LMSC series; 2015 Kulwicki Driver Development Program participant
Natalie Decker, 18, Eagle River, Wis.
2015 NASCAR D4D participant
Jeremy Doss, 19, Upper Lake, Calif.
7 super late model victories in 2015
Dave Farrington, Jr., 24, Jay, Maine
2014 NWAAS Maine State Champion; 2015 Kulwicki Driver Development Program participant
Jared Fryar, 21, Trinity, N.C.
1 SLM victory at Central Texas Speedway in 2015
Garrett Hall, 21, Scarborough, Maine
2015 runner-up at Beech Ridge (ME) Motor Speedway
Cody Haskins, 24, Marietta, Ga.
2015 Rupert Porter Memorial 100 winner at Anderson (SC) Speedway
Quin Houff, 18, Mount Sidney, Va.
1 CARS Tour Super Late Model feature victory
Jordan Ives, 17, Gladstone, Mich.
3 LM feature wins at Norway (MI) Speedway in 2015
Bobby Kendall, 20, Montello, Wis.
2014 Fast Dash Champion at Dells Raceway Park
Reagan May, 22, DePere, Wis.
6 LM feature wins in 2015; 2015 Kulwicki Driver Development Program participant
Austin Nason, 20, Roscoe, Wis.
8 LM feature wins in 2015; 2015 ARCA Midwest Tour Rookie of the Year
Michael Ostdiek, 18, Lakeville, Minn.
2015 NWAAS Minnesota State Rookie of the Year
John Peters, 18, Westbrook, Maine
1 LM win at Wiscasset (ME) Speedway
Alex Prunty, 23, Lomira, Wis.
2015 Slinger Speedway LM Champion; 2015 Dells Raceway Park SLM Rookie of the Year
Brandon Setzer, 22, Newton, N.C.
2 CARS Tour Super Late Model feature victories
Cole Timm, 17, Mooresville, N.C.
2015 CARS Tour Super Late Model Series Champion
The interviewing process is being scheduled for the next two weeks. After a final vote by the seven-member advisory board, the 2016 KDDP team of seven drivers is expected to be announced on March 11.
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For additional information on the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, please visit the official website at www.kulwickiddp.com. Catch us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/KDDP/435099609983775?ref=hl and follow us on Twitter at @KulwickiDDP.
About the KDDP:
The Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) was established in 2014 by the family of late NASCAR Champion Alan Kulwicki for the purpose of helping worthy drivers toward reaching their dreams while at the same time keeping Alan’s memory and legacy alive. The Program provides drivers with financial assistance along with support in publicity, marketing, sponsorship development, industry networking and relationship building. Based in Concord, N.C., the KDDP is a non-profit organization with the mission of playing a significant role in developing the next era of America’s short-track racers while educating new generations about the life, passion and values of the 1992 NASCAR Champion.
– KDDP press release