Brooke Storer, Gracie Trotter earn spots in NASCAR's 2019 Drive for Diversity class

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Gracie Trotter, just 17, this year became the highest-finishing female in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout Series for Legend and Bandolero cars.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Brooke Storer, 20, and Gracie Trotter, 17, have been selected as the only females to compete for Rev Racing next season in the six-person NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program, it was announced Thursday by NASCAR officials.

Storer, from Land O' Lakes, Florida, and Trotter, from Denver, North Carolina, join Ruben Garcia Jr., Ernie Francis Jr., Nick Sanchez and Chase Cabre, who all participated in the program during the 2018 season. Garcia won his second NASCAR Peak Mexico Series championship this year and finished third in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series driving for Rev Racing. Francis recently won his fifth consecutive Trans-Am Series championship.

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Brooke Storer, 20, assembled her own race team when she was just 16.

The six competitors selected for the 2019 season came from a group of 12 national and international drivers invited to participate in the program's two-day combine at New Smyrna (Florida) Speedway and Bethune-Cookman University in October. Via Rev Racing, the program aligns the drivers with a team of executives, athletic directors, crew chiefs and mentors for an entire racing season.

"This year's class features six highly talented drivers who each possess an impressive blend of skill and experience," Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager of racing operations and event management, said in a prepared statement.

Storer and Trotter will compete in NASCAR's Whelen All-American Series, which is for late-model stock cars, during the 2019 season.

Like many of today's young drivers, Storer started racing as a child, making her debut in karts at 7. During the next five years, she won six track championships and collected close to 140 feature victories. She transitioned to Pro Truck and super late model at age 12. She won six races during her inaugural season and at 14 became the youngest female to qualify and start a super late model series 100-lap race.

When Storer was 16, she assembled her own race team and moved to the sportsman division, where she won two track championships. She was the Desoto Speedway sportsman champion in 2016 and claimed the Auburndale Speedway sportsman title this year. Both of the short tracks are in Florida.

Trotter has been racing super late models and Legend Cars in the Semi-Pro Division.

Earlier this year, Trotter became the highest-finishing female in Charlotte Motor Speedway's Summer Shootout Series for Legend and Bandolero cars. She won two Legend races and finished second in the Semi-Pro Division standings. In 2017, Trotter became the first female to win in the Legend Cars Young Lions Division at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

In super late model cars, Trotter became the highest-finishing female in the PASS South Series with a sixth-place finish at Caraway Speedway, located near Asheboro, North Carolina.

Drive for Diversity program graduates include current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson, Daniel Suárez and Bubba Wallace. Breanna O'Leary and Brehanna Daniels both went through the Drive for Diversity pit crew development program, and both have worked as tire changers for NASCAR races.  

Deb Williams has covered auto racing for United Press International, USA Today and The Charlotte Observer. She was the 1990 and 1996 NMPA Writer of the Year.

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