DAYTONA BEACH, FL –- A dozen drivers from across the United States and Mexico will converge on northeast Florida to vie for an opportunity to follow in the tracks of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson.
The 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Honda Generators will be held at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona and New Smyrna Speedway on Oct. 16-18, and will serve as a key element in the selection process for setting the driver lineup for Rev Racing in 2018. Both the combine and the team will feature an enhanced focus on seat time to increase competition at the combine and on the track next season.
The drivers invited at the combine includes several record-setting rising stars and a trio of NASCAR Next drivers. They’ll be competing for four seats with Rev Racing.
“We’ve taken an in-depth look at how the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine and we’ve worked hard to continue to take the program to the next level,” said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “We’ve had a number of successes – from the graduation of Suarez, Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. to the national series, to winning races and championships on the touring and weekly series level. As we continue to evolve the program, the format of the combine and the 2018 schedule will provide a greater emphasis on driver development on and off the race track.”
Among the drivers invited are Brittany Zamora, from Kennewick, Washington, and Ryan Vargas from LaMirada, California. Zamora, 18, became the first female to win the championship in the Northwest Super Late Model Series this season, while Vargas, 16, is the youngest race winner at California’s Irwindale Speedway and finished 16th in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings.
They’ll be joined by current NASCAR Next driver Chase Cabre, as well as NASCAR Next alumni Collin Cabre and Ruben Garcia Jr. Garcia set the mark as the youngest champion in NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series history in 2015.
Other invitees include Macy Causey, Madeline Crane, Ernie Frances Jr., McKenna Haase, Nicholas Sanchez, Fabian Welter and Armani Williams.
Earlier this year, Causey became the first female to win a Division I Late Model feature at South Boston Speedway in Virginia; Welter has four wins and leads the NASCAR PEAK Mexico Challenge Series points; and Francis is a three-time Trans-Am Series presented by Pirelli champion and leads the series’ TA standings with three events remaining. Sanchez finished fifth in the Bojangles Summer Shootout in Charlotte, driving for Rev Racing’s Legends car program.
“The roster of talent coming to the 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine is one of the deepest we’ve ever had,” said Max Siegel, CEO of Rev Racing. “We’ve seen the program really grow over the last 10 years and make a substantial impact in NASCAR. We are excited to continue to work within the sport to make significant inroads and provide an opportunity for truly talented race car drivers to advance.”
The drivers will take part in media and physical assessments on Monday at Bethune-Cookman. They will undergo driving evaluations at New Smyrna on Tuesday in a Late Model Stock Car and Wednesday in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series car. In addition to being sponsored by Honda Generators, the Combine received sponsorship support from partners Bethune-Cookman, Perry’s Ocean Edge Resort in Daytona Beach, M2 Promotions and Sunoco.
From the 12 combine participants, four will be selected for the 2018 season. Three of those drivers will race full-time in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, while also running full-time in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series in a Late Model – totaling more than 30 races next season. In addition, the fourth driver will compete full-time in the Late Model program and serve as an alternate for the K&N Pro Series program.
In an expanded role for next year, Rev Racing will also select an additional four youth drivers at a future combine. Those drivers will participate in the organization’s expanded Legends and Bandaleros program next season. This past season, Rev Racing had two Legends cars in the Bojangles Summer Shootout. The team will also provide several driver development test sessions in its Late Model at Langley Speedway in Virginia and New Smyrna during the 2018 race season for prospective multicultural and female drivers.
2017 NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine Drivers:
|Chase Cabre||Tampa, Fla.|
|Collin Cabre||Tampa, Fla.|
|Macy Causey||Seaford, Va.|
|Madeline Crane||Meansville, Ga.|
|Ernie Francis Jr.||Dania, Fla.|
|Ruben Garcia||Mexico City, Mexico|
|McKenna Haase||Carlisle, Iowa|
|Nicholas Sanchez||Homestead, Fla.|
|Ryan Vargas||La Mirada, Calif.|
|Fabian Welter||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Armani Williams||Grosse Pointe, Mich.|
|Brittany Zamora||Kennewick, Wash.|
-NASCAR IMC Press Release. Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR