Twenty multicultural and female race car drivers from the United States, Canada and Latin America will participate in the 11th Annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) Combine Oct. 13-15 with hopes of earning a spot in the 2015 NASCAR D4D Class in partnership with Rev Racing.
The NASCAR D4D Combine - being held at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virgina, for the fourth consecutive year - has been the proving ground for several current NASCAR national series drivers, including NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Larson, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series three-time race winner Darrell Wallace Jr. and NASCAR Mexico Toyota Series driver Daniel Suarez, who recently announced a full-year NASCAR Nationwide Series ride with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2015.
"The NASCAR Drive for Diversity program has seen significant success in recent years with several standout drivers who have consistently exceled and put on their best performance on the race track," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR vice president of racing operations. "It is important for us to provide development opportunities for young female and diverse drivers who have the talent, but may lack the resources or guidance to find an entry point in our sport."
Under the leadership of Max Siegel, owner of Rev Racing and CEO of U.S. Track & Field, NASCAR D4D has evolved to an academy-style development program which will compete under one umbrella in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKPSE) and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series (NWAAS). Rev Racing provides drivers with equipment, mentoring and competition experience throughout the season.
"This year's Combine applicant pool was among the strongest the program has seen, and we continue to see that year over year," said Siegel. "The program's visibility and reputation for developing young, female and diverse drivers with talent and growth potential has increased across the board, and we are seeing steady recognition and support from key stakeholders across the motorsports industry."
Suarez, a rising star in the U.S. and Mexico, is the third and most recent NASCAR D4D driver to transition into one of NASCAR's three national series after competing in full seasons in Mexico's NASCAR Toyota Series and the NKPSE. Several drivers are attempting to follow in his footsteps, including 18-year-old Ruben Garcia Jr., a member of the NASCAR Next class.
Also returning to defend their spot in the program are current NWAAS drivers Devon Amos and Paige Decker. Current Rev Racing drivers in the NASCAR K&N East Sergio Peña and Jay Beasley also are under consideration to return to the team in 2015, but will not compete at the Combine.
The drivers will be individually evaluated on at-track performance, including their instinctive positioning at different places on the track, proficiency and comfort level in providing in-car feedback to the crew chief, overall speed and the ability to shift during assessments.
Visit FansChoice.TV for the live streaming schedule of the Combine.
Below are invitees to the 11th annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity Combine:
Devon Amos
Age: 23
Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Jairo Avila
Age: 19
Alhambra, California

Amber Balcaen
Age: 22
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Nicole Behar
Age: 16
Otis Orchards, Washington

Collin Cabre
Age: 20
Thonotosassa, Florida

Abraham Calderon
Age: 25
Monterrey, Mexico

Madeline Crane
Age: 16
Meansville, Georgia

Claire Decker
Age: 19
Eagle River, Wisconsin

Paige Decker
Age: 21
Eagle River, Wisconsin

Natalie Decker
Age: 16
Eagle River, Wisconsin

Juan Esteban García Duarte
Age: 17
Bogotá, Colombia

Rubén Garcia, Jr
Age: 18
Naulcalpán, Mexico

Ryan Glenski
Age: 21
Mooresville, North Carolina

Ali Kern
Age: 21
Fremont, Ohio

Katlynn Leer
Age: 15
Moulton, Iowa

Michael Lira
Age: 17
Port Orange, Florida

Hannah Newhouse
Age: 17
Twin Falls, Idaho

Emily Packard
Age: 17
East Montpelier, Vermont

Kenzie Ruston
Age: 22
Mooresville, North Carolina

Dylan Smith
Age: 22
Concord, Vermont