BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 27, 2002)- Dodge Motorsports announced today that eight minority candidates have been chosen to receive scholarships sponsored by the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program. The program, in its second year of operation, aims to...
BROOKLYN, Mich. (July 27, 2002)- Dodge Motorsports announced today that eight minority candidates have been chosen to receive scholarships sponsored by the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program. The program, in its second year of operation, aims to attract, recruit and train minorities for positions within the automotive and motorsports industry.
"The Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship Program is a long-term initiative that will help educate, train and prepare a more diverse group of people to enter the field of motorsports," said Bob Wildberger, Senior Manager, Motorsports Operations - Dodge Motorsports. "Both Dodge and NASCAR are committed to broadening minority participation in motorsports."
The eight winners - Jonta Adams, 24, of Charlotte, N.C.; Michael Bethea, 18, of Dillon, S.C.; Carlos Correa Jr., 18, of Saint Helena Island, S.C; Gabriel López, 19, of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Kerry Sano, 22, of San Francisco, California; Juan Jose Soto Jr., 25, of Toledo, Ohio; Antonio Texidor, 25, of Manchester, Connecticut; Cesar Villanueva Jr., 22, of Morris Plains, New Jersey - were selected from hundreds of qualified applicants through an extensive screening process.
The scholarship recipients will receive NASCAR-approved training at the Mooresville, N.C., campus of the new NASCAR Technical Institute. Scholarships will cover costs associated with tuition, fees, required books and supplies and housing for the 57-week, automotive/NASCAR technology program operated by the Universal Technical Institute (UTI).
Students will attend 39 weeks of traditional automotive service technology training that provides coursework in engine construction, electrical, fuel and lubrication systems, drive trains, body and chassis fabrication and racing theory principles. The final 18 weeks of the program covers NASCAR-specific training, which includes an intensive NASCAR curriculum, including the sport's history, rules and regulations, engine building and development, and chassis theory.
All students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) while enrolled in the automotive technology training program. Upon successful completion of the training program, graduates will be placed in a recruitment process to join Dodge racing teams as crewmembers.
To be considered for one of the scholarships, applicants must have maintained a 3.0 GPA throughout high school and either be currently enrolled as a senior or have already graduated high school. Also, it is necessary that candidates belong to a recognized U.S. ethnic/racial minority group (i.e. American Indian, Alaskan Native, African American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Asian, Hispanic or Latino). Finally, recipients are required to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) examination. All applications are processed and evaluated by an independent agency.
"Dodge and DaimlerChrysler have been very proactive in ensuring that our workforce is diverse," Wildberger said. "When we met with NASCAR at the beginning of 2000 to announce our return to the Winston Cup, one of our goals was to create a program that could bring the same diversity we see in our workforce into motorsports."
The Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program began its second year of operation with the debut of rookie NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester in the No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram at Daytona International Speedway in February. Lester, currently the only African-American driver in NASCAR's top three series, is in the midst of his first full-season of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with Bobby Hamilton Racing.