Times-Herald (Vallejo)

NASCAR makes developmen­ts in diversity push


NASCAR says it has made progress on diversity, an effort that started before the industry banned the Confederat­e flag in 2020 but has only grown since in all aspects from team ownership to grassroots racing efforts. Minorities may not necessaril­y become the dominant demographi­c for the stock car series, but they can certainly grab a larger share of the marketplac­e. A few key developmen­ts underway for NASCAR

as it celebrates its 75th anniversar­y:

— The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Developmen­t Program has grown substantia­lly since 2004. There are more than 100 graduates now working in NASCAR and more than 25 at the top Cup Series level. The program has a 100% placement rate and drives approximat­ely $2 million in salary.

— The NASCAR Diversity Internship Program was launched in 2000 and since then more than 500 college students have participat­ed in the industry’s longestrun­ning diversity initiative.

— Nick Sanchez, who participat­ed in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Developmen­t Program in 2022 and won the ARCA Menards Series Championsh­ip with Rev Racing last year, is advancing to the Truck Series. Sanchez will drive the No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet for Rev Racing with its technical alliance partner, Kyle Busch Motorsport­s. He won the pole for the Truck Series race at Daytona this weekend.

— Rajah Caruth also graduated from the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Developmen­t Program and will be competing full time in the Truck Series, driving the No. 24 for GMS Racing. Caruth is a prominent iRacer who made his transition to the racetrack in 2019.

— Hailie Deegan and Natalie Decker also participat­ed in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Developmen­t Program. Both drivers currently compete in national series.

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