Diversity accomplishments honored

NASCAR Celebrates Diversity Accomplishments At Second Annual NASCAR Diversity Luncheon DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2009) -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today celebrated the outstanding accomplishments ...

NASCAR Celebrates Diversity Accomplishments At Second Annual NASCAR Diversity Luncheon

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 11, 2009) -- The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) today celebrated the outstanding accomplishments of pioneering individuals and organizations in the area of diversity at the second annual NASCAR Diversity Luncheon.

"Teams, tracks, sponsors and other stakeholders play an integral role in our efforts to further diversify our sport," said Marcus Jadotte, Managing Director of Public Affairs. "The NASCAR Diversity Awards are a small way to say thank you and recognize just a few of those making a difference in creating awareness and opportunity."

At a ceremony held at the Bill France Room at Daytona International Speedway, NASCAR recognized the following individuals and organizations across the industry for their outstanding impact:

Drive for Diversity Participant: Kristin Bumbera

Bumbera, 21, of Sealy, Texas, was chosen as the driver or crew member who exemplifies outstanding performance on the track while also educating and exposing young people to NASCAR and motorsports. In addition to breaking two track records in different states, and winning five poles and numerous top fives and top 10s at All-American Speedway in Roseville, Calif., Kristin has found time to give back to the community. During the 2008 season, between a 25-race schedule, she counseled high school students on opportunities in NASCAR's Diversity program, shot a public service TV ad for SAFE-KIDS, and encouraged foster children at the Buckner Children's Home. Kristin graduated from the Lyn St. James Driver Development Program and was honored at the Annual Women in the Winner's Circle Luncheon. She did all of this while completing three semesters of college in pursuing a marketing degree at the University of Houston. Kristin will compete for Bobby Hamilton Jr. Racing in the NASCAR Camping World East Series in 2009.

Young Racer Award: Annabeth Barnes

Though only 14 years old, World Karting Association (WKA) driver Annabeth Barnes is a driver to watch. She was the 2008 Briggs & Stratton Speedway Dirt Series National Champion in both the Jr. Champ Lite and Jr. Champ Heavy classes. She's earned championship titles in the Tennessee State Dirt Divisional in four classes and in the North Carolina State Pavement Divisional in three different classes. In 2008, Annabeth, who is from Hiddenite, N.C. was one of the top participants in the inaugural Go Racing initiative, a program focused on increasing minority and female youth's participation in motorsports. In addition to balancing school, racing and sponsorship opportunities, she participated at promotional venues such as a Drive for Diversity outreach initiative at the Charlotte Bobcats stadium.

NASCAR Diversity Internship Program: Jaime Bowman & Kristopher Rincon

Jaime Bowman of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Kristopher Rincon of Aguadulce, Calif., were honored for their outstanding performance and leadership skills in academics as well as performing at a high level at their internship through the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program.

Employed in NASCAR's Consumer Marketing department in Daytona Beach, Jaime Bowman was the catalyst for the NASCAR Kinetics Program, a new NASCAR Consumer Marketing initiative. Through her strong focus and willingness to learn, Jaime was provided significant value to her department during her NASCAR internship. She has also become an ambassador for the sport on campus at Howard University in Washinton, D.C. Jaime has been asked to return this summer to manage NASCAR's participation in the DUB Auto Show and the NASCAR Kinetics program.

Kristopher Rincon, employed at Brand Sense, Goodyear's marketing agency based in Los Angeles, was very involved in the Goodyear Racing & Diversity Program. Kris worked on-site at one of the program's target markets, the Auto Club Speedway. He still reaches out to help when the national series is in driving distance from his school, the University of Arizona.

Educational Institutional Award Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) was recognized for this award given to a college/ university that attracts and trains diverse students for careers in the motorsports industry with a relevant curriculum. WSSU has been involved with NASCAR and the motorsports industry on many fronts, offering a Bachelor of Science in Motorsports Management, the only one of its kind in the nation, as well as the only motorsport management-related curriculum at a historically black college or university (HBCU). From participating in the NASCAR Kinetics program to conducting at-track surveys for NASCAR Diversity Affairs as part of market research classes, WSSU has displayed great interest and diligence to develop its students and advance a respected motorsports curriculum.

NASCAR Sponsor The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

The Goodyear Racing & Driving Program was recognized for demonstrating an enduring commitment to NASCAR's diversity goals. While Goodyear plays a visible role in the racing each weekend, the Goodyear Racing and Diversity Program is making a mark in exposing African-American and Hispanic high school students to NASCAR. The program provided high school students maintaining good grades, the opportunity to experience NASCAR first-hand through a behind-the-scenes look at a NASCAR race and a race-weekend internship. Students from across the country were paired with several mentors in career areas of interest for two, six-hour days of work. Students who completed their race-weekend internships were then eligible to apply for the scholarships. In 2008, the Diversity Program culminated in scholarships for six deserving students. The grand prize winner was presented a scholarship for $30,000 toward their continuing education. Five additional students received $2,000 scholarships.

Individual Recognition: Max Siegel

A well-known and respected figure in the garage the past few years, Siegel has been at the forefront of inclusion efforts across the motorsports industry. He was honored with this award given to the individual who has displayed an impactful personal effort to include diversity and inclusion efforts as part of their job. Siegel, the former President of Global Operations at Dale Earnhardt Inc., recently formed The 909 Group, a sports, entertainment and lifestyle marketing firm that will manage day-to-day operations of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity initiative, which seeks opportunities for minority and female competitors. Max has been interviewed by countless media outlets and speaks to industry and youth groups about NASCAR's diversity initiatives.

-credit: nascar

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Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Hamilton Jr. , Lyn St. James