Eighteen drivers have been selected to participate in the 2005 Drive for Diversity Testing and Evaluation Combine slated for October 18 and 19, at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va.
Drivers from throughout the nation, including California, Iowa and Colorado, will be in attendance at the event, executed by Charlotte-based Access Marketing & Communications. The Driver Combine provides Drive for Diversity-affiliated team owners the opportunity to select drivers to participate in the program's second season.
The five drivers who competed on the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series (NDWS) for affiliated Drive for Diversity teams in 2004 will be joined by 13 other drivers vying for program opportunities in 2005. Drivers participating in the Combine include:
-- Becca Anderson, Lincoln, Del., posted three heat wins, three top-10 finishes and three B-main features competing in United Racing Club this season.
-- Morty Buckles, Stone Mountain, Ga., is a member of the first Drive for Diversity class in 2004. He drove the No. 54 National Guard Ford for Belnavis Racing posting 14 top-10 finishes on the NDWS at South Boston Speedway and Motor Mile Speedway, respectively.
-- Brianne Cronrath, Fleetwood, Pa., competed in the Late Model Truck division at Motor Mile Speedway this season, with two top-five and five top-10 finishes.
-- Bruce Driver, Pennington, N.J., is also a member of the first Drive for Diversity class driving the No. 02 MBNA/Centrix Financial Chevrolet for SCORE Motorsports, posting a season best eighth place finish in his NDWS debut at South Boston Speedway.
-- Allison Duncan, Cornelius, N.C., another member of the inaugural Drive for Diversity program, drove the No. 94 Miller Lite/Sunoco Chevrolet for BH Motorsports to six top-five and 16 top-10 finishes at Hickory Motor Speedway in the NDWS.
-- Sondi Eden, Crawfordsville, Ind., became USAC's first-ever female driving champion, winning the 2004 USAC Regional Midget Series Championships.
-- Michael Gallegos, WheatRidge, Colo., had three solid showings in 2004 in the NASCAR AutoZone Elite division this year at Colorado National Speedway and Pikes Peak International Speedway.
-- Joe Henderson, Franklin, Tenn., a member of the first Drive for Diversity program, drove the No. 77 Kodak Perfect Touch Dodge for Bobby Hamilton Racing in the NDWS, putting up nine top-10 finishes in 20 races at Music City Motorplex.
-- Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., competed at Madera Speedway and Irwindale Speedway, picking up five top-five finishes in a Grand American Modified.
-- Tommy Lane, Charlotte, N.C., participated in the inaugural Drive for Diversity Driver Combine in January and ultimately joined the crew member program with SCORE Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. In 2003, he posted a win driving in the Super Stock Division at Wall Stadium in NJ.
-- Lloyd Mack, Los Angeles, Calif., drove a Grand American Modified to a third place finish at Irwindale Speedway where he also took eighth in a Super Late Model Division race. During his career, he has raced in the Menards IRL Infinity Pro Series and West Coast Pro Truck Division in addition to being a five-time International Karting Federation champ.
-- Darin Martinez-Stahl, Sacramento, Calif., picked up four wins and two second place finishes in the HPV-3 karting class at Prairie City Raceway Park.
-- Reggie Primus, Kannapolis, N. C., a member of the inaugural Drive for Diversity program, picked up two top-five finishes competing for Innovative Motorsports in the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, driving in the NDWS at Caraway Speedway.
-- Alison Quick, Redding, Iowa, in her first season in a Dirt Modified, finished the season ninth in year-end points with one win, four top- five, and nine top-10 finishes at Adams County Speedway in Iowa.
-- James Reed, St. Louis, Mo., competed in a UMP Modified at I-55 Speedway in Peveley, Mo., scoring 12 top-five finishes.
-- Jesse Salazar, San Antonio, Texas, posted 13 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes at San Antonio Speedway, completing the 2004 season just 10 points out of first place in the year end standings.
-- Andy Winstead, Mt. Pleasant, S. C., is a veteran of the iPower Dash Series, and Late Model Stock Car experience at Summerville Speedway in S.C. and Ace Speedway in N. C.
-- Terri Williams, Emporia, Va., won the 2004 year-end standings in the Grand Stock division at South Boston Speedway, posting three wins and eight top-five finishes.
The selected drivers will complete practice, qualifying and intermediate runs in Late Model Stock Cars and also participate in interviews to determine their overall motorsports knowledge and racing philosophy. Drive for Diversity team owners are expected to be announced during next week's Driver Combine.
Drive for Diversity was created and is managed by Access Marketing & Communications, a Charlotte-based multicultural marketing firm founded in 2003 by Calhoun Enterprises and The Radiate Group. Drive for Diversity seeks to provide minority and female driver and crew member development programs as an initial step in a long-term solution to diversify NASCAR's participant and fan base.