NASCAR makes key developments in push for greater diversity

·1 min read
NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace (23) speaks to reporters ahead of practice sessions before a NASCAR exhibition auto race at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

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 longest-running 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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