Coming off the most successful season in the nine-year history of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, NASCAR and Rev Racing welcomed the 2013 NASCAR D4D class on Tuesday, Jan. 15 via Google+ hangout.
“Four drivers selected from the NASCAR Drive For Diversity Combine will join three returning drivers to compete for Rev Racing in 2013,” said Max Siegel, owner of Rev Racing. “With Kyle Larson capturing NASCAR D4D’s first title in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, as well as the series’ Sunoco Rookie of Year Award, the new class is in a position to continue the momentum and defend the 2013 title.”
Bryan Ortiz, from Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and Ryan Gifford, of Winchester, Tenn., will return to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. Ortiz finished second to teammate Larson in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors last season and fifth in the standings.
They will be joined by Daniel Suarez of Monterrey, Mexico, and Mackena Bell of Carson City, Nev. Suarez is coming off a third-place finish in Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series, while Bell drove in Rev Racing’s Late Model program last year.
Annabeth Barnes from Hiddenite, NC, and Jack Madrid from San Clemente, CA, will pilot the Late Models for Rev Racing, while Devon Amos, from Rio Rancho, NM, will compete for the team’s Legends program.
“In 2012, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity initiative has strengthened its position as a leading driver development platform in our sport with outstanding finishes from many drivers, especially Kyle’s championship, which was a first for the program,” said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development. “Clearly, the NASCAR D4D initiative and Rev Racing have raised the bar in preparing young drivers for success in our sport.”
Seventeen hopefuls went through a three-day driver evaluation of on-track performances and physical fitness to be considered for a spot in the 2013 D4D class. For the second-consecutive year, the NASCAR D4D Combine was held at Langley Speedway, a .4-mile asphalt oval and NASCAR-sanctioned track.
While several of the drivers will compete in the UNOH Battle at the Beach at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 18-19, the full team will begin its season in March. The NASCAR Whelen All-American Series drivers will make their series debut at the historic Hickory Motor Speedway Mar. 9, while the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East drivers open their season on Mar. 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Toyota and Toyota Racing Development will once again support Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, with all drivers racing Toyota Camrys in 2013. Goodyear, Mobil 1, Sprint, NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI), 3M, Wix Filters, Mechanix Wear, iRacing, Castle, JRI Shocks, Impact, Playseat, Doghouse Systems, Logitech and Sign Innovations also return to support Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.
It will be interesting to see how this year's crop of diverse drivers compare with racing phenom Kyle Larson, who appears to be able to drive the wheels off of anything that has them!
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