Concord, N.C. – The seven drivers who will represent the Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) for the 2018 racing season will come from a diverse group of 21 semifinalists that the organization named today. They hail from Nova Scotia, to Texas, out to California and up to Washington state…representing 11 different states and two Canadian provinces. The drivers range in age from 14 to 25 and the list includes five female competitors.
“The total quantity of applicants we had for our 2018 program was impressive and the quality of those applicants was through the roof,” said KDDP Executive Director Tom Roberts. “After several conference calls and much deliberation, our voting board members did yeoman’s work in selecting these semifinalists.”
After preliminary examination and sifting of the numerous applications received, 50 different applicants received full review and consideration by the board members. During the voting process, 39 different competitors received votes to be among the semifinalists.
“There were so many outstanding racers to choose from this year,” said Roberts. “The process to select our 2018 semifinalists required multi-step canvassing and produced the most debate and discussion we’ve experienced in the four years that our program has been up and running. After tie-breaking revotes, the board was finally able to narrow it down to these 21 drivers.
“The diversity of this group of drivers is striking,” Roberts offered. “They come from all over North America and there’s a difference of 11 years between the youngest and oldest. We have more female semifinalists this year than the total number of females to ever apply for our program.”
The 21 KDDP semifinalists for 2018 include, in alphabetical order:
Kendra Adams, 18, Gilford, Ontario, Canada
2017 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Provincial Rookie of the Year; 2017 Sunset Speedway Rookie of the Year
Wyatt Alexander, 18, Charlotte, North Carolina
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Semi-Finalist; 2015 Boss Hogg 100 feature winner at Wiscasset (ME) Speedway
Wyatt Brooks, 21, Amherst, Wisconsin
Three career SLM feature wins, including a TUNDRA Series win at Jefferson Speedway in 2017
Cole Butcher, 19, Porter’s Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Finalist (4th place); Winner, 2016-2017 Atlantic Cat 250; 2016 Maritime Pro Stock Series Champion
Justin Carroll, 21, Concord, North Carolina
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Semi-Finalist; Winner, 2017 CARS Tour “Throwback 276” at Hickory Speedway
Mandy Chick, 16, DeSoto, Kansas
2016 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Kansas State Rookie of the Year
Jordan DeVoy, 25, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Top 10 in 2017 TUNDRA Super Late Model Series Points
Dylan Garner, 19, Yorba Linda, California
Top 10 in 2017 NASCAR Whelen All American Series National Points; Second Place, 2017 NASCAR Whelen All American Series in California
Cole Glasson, 17, Rockwall, Texas
One Victory and 28 Top Fives in 36 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Model Stock Car Series Starts in 2016-2017
Grant Griesbach, 16, Waukesha, Wisconsin
2017 Slinger Speedway Super Late Model Feature Winner; 5th in season points
Derek Griffith, 21, Hudson, New Hampshire
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Semi-Finalist; Two PASS North Series SLM Feature Wins in 2017; Winner, 2017 US Pro Stock Nationals Feature at Seekonk Speedway
Dillon Hammond, 25, Grand Marsh, Wisconsin
2018 ARCA Midwest Tour Touring Star
Molly Helmuth, 22, Seattle, Washington
Eight Top Ten SLM Finishes in 2017; 2015-2016 Most Popular driver at Evergreen Speedway
Taylor Jorgensen, 21, Stockbridge, Georgia
2016 Five Flags Speedway Pro Truck Series Champion
Justin Mondeik, 21, Gleason, Wisconsin
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Finalist (5th place); 2017-18 ARCA Midwest Tour Touring Star; 2016 State Park Speedway and Marshfield Motor Speedway Rookie of the Year
John Peters, 20, Westbrook, Maine
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Finalist (7th place); 2016 SLM Feature Winner at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Logan Runyon, 21, Cambridge, Ohio
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Semi-Finalist; 2017 ARCA/CRA Super Series Champion and Rookie of the Year
Collin Slife, 14, Coloma, Wisconsin
2015 INEX/U.S Legend Cars International State of Wisconsin Bandolero Champion. Successful move to Super Trucks in 2016 & SLM in 2017. Running ARCA Midwest & TUNDRA in 2018.
Brett Yackey, 17, Greeley, Colorado
2017 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Finalist (3rd place); Three NASCAR Whelen All American Series Wins at I-25 Speedway in 2017
Brittney Zamora, 18, Kennewick, Washington
2017 Northwest Super Late Model Series Champion
Logan Zampa, 17, Napa, California
Two RPM Mortgage Pro Late Model Series Feature Wins at Madera Speedway in 2017
“Since the formation of the KDDP back in 2014, all aspects of our program revolve around the number 7,” Roberts said. “That was Alan’s car number and a basis for just about everything we do. In numerology, the number 7 is the thinker and seeker of truth. With that in mind, I consider it very appropriate that the board will be selecting the finalists from three times that number. One driver out of three will make the cut to be among our seven drivers competing for the 2018 Kulwicki Cup.
“Our board certainly has a tough chore ahead in choosing the drivers who will carry the Kulwicki colors this season. The next step in determining who those racers will be is the interviewing process which we will be organizing during the next 10 days.”
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 unique trophy. Seymour, Wisconsin’s Ty Majeski was the 2015 Kulwicki Cup winner during the inaugural year for the program. Lomira, Wisconsin’s Alex Prunty claimed the 2016 title and Marietta, Georgia's Cody Haskins was the 2017 KDDP Champion.
Driver interviews will be scheduled from Feb 28 through March 3. After a final review and vote by the advisory board, the 2018 KDDP team of seven drivers is expected to be announced on Thursday, March 15. The competition for the 2018 Kulwicki Cup begins on April 1 and runs through October 31.
For additional information on the Kulwicki Driver Development Program, please visit the official website at www.kulwickiddp.com . Follow us on Twitter at @KulwickiDDP and we hope you check out and like our new Facebook page that will be launched during the third week of March. For all the latest news about the KDDP, we invite you frequently visit our official media partner Speed51.com.
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release