FORD RACING, CLOROX AND ST MOTORSPORTS TEAM TOGETHER ON FEMALE DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM (INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 4, 2005) -- Ford Racing has joined forces with Clorox and ST Motorsports to create the Clorox/Ford Racing Female Driver Development ...
FORD RACING, CLOROX AND ST MOTORSPORTS TEAM TOGETHER ON FEMALE DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
(INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 4, 2005) -- Ford Racing has joined forces with Clorox and ST Motorsports to create the Clorox/Ford Racing Female Driver Development Program, the first time a corporate sponsor and manufacturer have worked together to develop young, diverse talent.
This multi-year commitment, announced here today at Lyn St. James' "Women in the Winner's Circle" luncheon, is designed to develop a driver in USAC and graduate her to a NASCAR Busch Series team campaigned by ST Motorsports.
"Ford's customer base is diverse, and its driver roster should be diverse, too," said Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. "It is Ford's intent that when the first women wins a NASCAR Nextel Cup race and drives into Victory Lane, she will be driving a Ford."
"Clorox is very proud to be part of this wonderful program," said Tarang Amin, Vice President of Laundry & Home Care Marketing, at the Clorox Company. "We will be sponsoring the car that these two remarkable young women will drive on their journey, but it is their dream - the dream of women in racing - that will take them to NASCAR."
Alison MacLeod of Ontario, Canada, who two weeks ago scored her first career USAC Ford Focus Midget Series victory, and Destiney Hays of California are the first two drivers selected to participate in the program, which will be directed by noted chassis builder and USAC team owner Bob East.
East, whose son Bobby will make his NASCAR debut Friday evening in a Roush Racing Ford F-150 at Indianapolis Raceway Park, has developed some of NASCAR's biggest names over the years.
"Finding a partner like Clorox who understands our driver development process, sees the value in it and has committed to building on it was very important to us," said Davis. "There is no fast track to succeeding in motorsports, but having strong partners who share a common goal is necessary for this program to truly succeed and with Clorox and Bob East, we feel we have that.
"The thing that makes this program unique is that not only do we have an established 'ladder' system, but there is the opportunity for more young women to come along and follow in the footsteps of Destiney and Alison," Davis said. "We want to establish a long-term program that will move these drivers forward and give them every opportunity to be successful at each rung of the ladder."
Ford Racing has a long history in developing diverse driver talent. Ford was an early supporter of Lyn St. James' road racing career in the 1980s, as well as a supporter of prominent African-American driver Willy T. Ribbs' road racing career in that same time frame.
More recently, Ford supported Danica Patrick early in her career when she was racing in Europe, and last year did a formal test of four young women -- including MacLeod -- as part of a driver development pilot program.
Currently, the company is also supporting the efforts of Michel Jourdain Jr. as he tries to become the first Hispanic driver to race in Nextel Cup.
"We're committed to finding the next generation of racing champions," said Davis. "We're proud that partners like Clorox, ST Motorsports and Bob East have joined the effort. This is a huge step forward."