CHARLOTTE, N.C. (May 22, 2018) -- NASCAR® and Rev Racing today announced 13 college athletes from across the country who will compete as tire changers, carriers and jackmen in the third annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine in Concord, N.C., on Friday, May 25.
This year's combine competitors include college football, basketball, tennis and track and field athletes looking to transition to a professional career in NASCAR. Each will put their pit crew skills to the test and be evaluated based on a series of fitness, agility and crew member drills and competitions at the NASCAR Research & Development Center.
Top-performing participants will receive invitations to join the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development program and train as pit crew members with Rev Racing beginning later this year. More than 50 graduates of the program are currently working in the NASCAR industry and 25 are pitting in the sport's top series, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™.
"To look across our national series, it's clear that NASCAR Drive for Diversity has become an unquestioned leader in the recruitment and development of professional pit crew members," said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager, racing operations and event management. "Each year, the national combine helps us identify top talent and athletes with the drive and ability to one day compete as fulltime crew members in NASCAR."
As part of the program's scouting process, NASCAR and Rev Racing hosted spring tryouts for college athletes at Alcorn State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Norfolk State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Virginia State University and Winston-Salem State University.
The athletes invited to Friday's combine will take part in a four-hour skills competition led by Phil Horton, Rev Racing director of athletic performance.
"Rev Racing's recruiting efforts at colleges and universities across the country have resulted in attracting some of the best athletes in the nation to our combine," said Max Siegel, owner and CEO of Rev Racing. "We are excited about the partnerships we have developed with the athletic departments and administration at these institutions. We are proud of our accomplishments since the inception of this program and look forward to continued opportunities for growth in the future."
This year's competitors include Joshua Patrick, who was part of two HBCU national championship teams as a linebacker at North Carolina State A&T State, and twin brothers Jordan and Justin Boyd, both former track athletes at Alcorn State.
For some on Friday, the combine could mark the beginning of a professional career that leads to competing - and winning - on the sport's biggest stage.
In February, Derrell Edwards became the first NASCAR Drive for Diversity pit crew member to win the DAYTONA 500 when driver Austin Dillon raced to Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards, who played basketball at High Point University, pits as a tire carrier and jackman for Dillon's No. 3 Richard Childress Racing team.
Three program graduates - Raphael Diaz, Kevin Richardson and Mike Russell - helped Roush Fenway Racing driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway in 2017.
Brehanna Daniels, who previously starred as a point guard for Norfolk State's women's basketball program, has pitted as a tire changer in more than 20 NASCAR Xfinity Series™, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™ and ARCA Series races while training with NASCAR Drive for Diversity.
The 2018 NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine participants include:
Following Friday's event, pit crew combine participants will attend the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 26 (1 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN).
NASCAR Drive for Diversity also offers a driver development program, operated by Rev Racing, and fields vehicles for four drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, as well as legend cars for four youth racers. Successful graduates now competing in a national series include Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson, Daniel Suárez and Darrell Wallace Jr.
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