DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY ADAPTS ACADEMY-STYLE TRAINING Competitors to Work Together Under One Ownership Umbrella Based In Charlotte DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (September 16, 2009) -- The evolution of the Drive for Diversity, NASCAR's leading on track ...
DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY ADAPTS ACADEMY-STYLE TRAINING
Competitors to Work Together Under One Ownership Umbrella Based In Charlotte
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. (September 16, 2009) -- The evolution of the Drive for Diversity, NASCAR's leading on track diversity initiative, will continue in 2010 as competitors relocate to Charlotte and enter "academy-style" development under a single team ownership structure. The 909 Group, which took over operational responsibilities for Drive for Diversity in 2009, will own and operate 10 teams fielding Drive for Diversity competitors. Under the Revolution Racing banner, these minority and female drivers will compete on four NASCAR Camping World Series teams and six NASCAR Whelen All-American Series teams.
In addition, Revolution will also create a youth racing initiative that will identify aspiring drivers who may eventually enter Drive for Diversity in late model stock cars.
"Drive for Diversity, under the day to day management of The 909 Group, will continue to provide strong opportunities for minority and female competitors," said Marcus Jadotte, Managing Director of Public Affairs for NASCAR, who oversees the sanctioning body's diversity initiatives. "This new structure for developing young drivers and crew members is an evolution of an initiative that has seen 31 drivers compete, winning 33 races. D4D drivers will be located in the nerve center of NASCAR with greater access to industry resources, technology, training, testing, and shop experience."
Drive for Diversity is one of the most aggressive competition-based diversity programs in all of sports. In 2009, 12 Drive for Diversity drivers have combined for six wins, 51 top fives and 125 top-10 finishes.
The 909 Group, a sports and entertainment agency, will continue to provide marketing support to NASCAR's diversity initiatives. John Story will serve as President of Revolution Racing managing day-to-day operations of the company. Max Siegel will maintain his role as Chief Executive Officer of both Revolution and The 909 Group.
"We've spent most of 2009 thinking about ways to expand opportunities available to the drivers and crew members involved in Drive for Diversity," Siegel said. "All of the teams involved in the initiative since its inception in 2004 have provided meaningful support for the program. To better assess and develop talent, we are putting the drivers under one roof and in identical cars. This new standardized structure will also create more meaningful sponsorship opportunities that will in turn provide resources necessary to compete at the highest level with the goal of getting drivers to NASCAR's premier series."
Andy Santerre, a four-time NASCAR Camping World Series champion as a driver and team owner, will join Revolution Racing to oversee its Camping World Series operations. Blair Addis, a current Drive for Diversity team owner, will oversee Revolution Racing's NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program.
Current and former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers will serve as coaches and mentors to the drivers, who will be given additional seat time and be allowed to compete in more than one series as they develop. The coaches will share information with the drivers in the shop and during their intense on-track testing program which will begin in early November and continue throughout the 2010 season. In addition to drivers, Revolution, along with corporate partner Sprint, will continue to build on developing over-the-wall athletes led by long-time NASCAR pit crew coach Phil Horton, who has trained a significant number of current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew members.
Revolution's drivers for the 2010 season will be determined following the Drive for Diversity Combine presented by Sunoco Oct. 16-19. Those drivers will be featured in a television series, "Changing Lanes," developed in collaboration with the NASCAR Media Group and set to air in early 2010 on BET. The 10-part series will showcase the development of young Drive for Diversity competitors trying to make it in the big-time world of NASCAR racing.
About Drive for Diversity
Drive for Diversity, managed by The 909 Group, develops minority and female drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Series and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Since the creation of the Drive for Diversity program in 2004, 31 drivers have competed, winning 33 races. In 2009, 12 Drive for Diversity drivers have combined for six wins, 51 top fives and 125 top 10s. Drive for Diversity also supports pit crew athletes each year in the Drive for Diversity Crew Member Program presented by Sprint. Much of the success of the Drive for Diversity initiative is a result of support from key sponsors and involved team owners.