Dodge Motorsports Diversity grads join teams

Dodge motorsports diversity scholarship graduates join three Dodge NASCAR teams. BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 18, 2002) - Dodge Motorsports announced today that the graduating winners of the 2001-2002 Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship program...

Dodge motorsports diversity scholarship graduates join three Dodge NASCAR teams.

BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 18, 2002) - Dodge Motorsports announced today that the graduating winners of the 2001-2002 Dodge Motorsports Diversity Scholarship program have each earned full-time positions with three Dodge NASCAR race teams. Two students will join Evernham Motorsports' No. 9 and No. 19 Dodge-sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup Series teams, and a third student will join the Ultra Motorsports No. 2 Dodge Ram team in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

The Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program, in its second year of operation, aims to attract, recruit and train minorities for positions within the automotive and motorsports industry.

"I applaud Dodge for their efforts to give everyone an opportunity to get the education needed to work in our sport," said Ray Evernham, President, CEO and team owner of Evernham Motorsports. "As a team owner, I know how hard it is to find qualified, motivated people who are willing to commit to the intensity of working on a race team. This program allows people to get the skills they need to work in racing and helps them get jobs with race teams. It's a huge step in making motorsports an industry where everyone has an opportunity to pursue the career they want."

The three scholarship graduates - Jason Flamer, 22, from Houston, Texas; Ramon Zambrano, 21, from Arlington, Virginia; and David Whippy, 21, from Mangilao, Guam - were selected among the first recipients of full scholarships awarded by the Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program in spring of 2001. The scholarships were awarded to minority high school seniors or graduates, and provided full-tuition and housing for the 51-week NASCAR-approved training at Universal Technical Institute (UTI) in Houston, Texas. The students received training in a broad range of technical disciplines including diagnostic analysis and mechanical and electrical systems.

Jason Flamer graduated from the scholarship program in last June and has already begun working with the No. 19 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T team of Evernham Motorsports out of its Statesville, N.C., shop. He joined the team prior to the Brickyard 400 Winston Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 4. Currently, Flamer is responsible for assembling and tearing down Jeremy Mayfield's No. 19 Dodge Intrepid R/Ts on a weekly basis.

"I have enjoyed working at Evernham Motorsports from day one," Flamer said. "It's like no other work environment I have ever been in. I've learned a lot in the last year, and I'm really proud to be working the guys on this team. It's an opportunity that I never thought I'd come across."

Ramon Zambrano graduated in August, but will report to the No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T team for the first time on Monday. David Whippy expects to complete his coursework at UTI by October, and will begin working with the No. 2 Team ASE/CARQUEST Dodge team immediately after receiving his diploma.

"This is as exciting of an opportunity for our race teams as it is for our new team members," said Jim Smith, owner of Ultra/Evernham Motorsports. "Dodge is dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have the opportunity to pursue a career in NASCAR racing, and our entire team expects to benefit from having the chance to work with these young, talented individuals."

The Dodge Motorsports Diversity Program launched in the first quarter of 2001, providing a seat in the Bobby Hamilton-owned No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge Ram to African-American race car driver Willy T. Ribbs. Bill Lester acquired the seat of the No. 8 Dodge Ram for the 2002 season, and is in the midst of his first full-season in NASCAR Racing, ranking second in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year Standings. In July, Dodge announced eight more minority scholarship winners at Michigan International Speedway. The 2002-2003 scholarship class will receive full tuition and board to the 57-week training session at the NASCAR Technical Institute campus in Mooresville, N.C.

-dodge-

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jeremy Mayfield , Bill Lester , Ray Evernham , Jim Smith