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The Drive for Diversity(SM) Program Continues to Offer Opportunities in 2006
Press Release - Monday October 17, 6:59 pm ET

The 2006 Drive for Diversity(SM) Driver Combine Participants Are Officially Announced

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Drive for Diversity(SM) is hosting the third Driver Testing & Evaluation Combine at South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Va. today and tomorrow. Over 300 resumes were submitted to Access Marketing & Communications, which manages Drive for Diversity(SM), for the opportunity to participate during the 2006 season. Based upon the information submitted, 19 ethnic and gender minority drivers were selected to attend this year's combine by a panel of motorsports professionals.

"We are thrilled by the continued support our program partners offer and the strides made by the program participants over the last two seasons," said Greg Calhoun, president and CEO of Access Marketing & Communications. "We are certainly proud to continue our diversity efforts along with NASCAR. It is an outstanding feeling to be able to help these individuals realize their dreams."

Nineteen drivers, including seven from the 2005 season, are participating in the event. The drivers are showcasing their skills to Drive for Diversity(SM) affiliated team owners by completing various runs in Late Model Stock Cars. Candidates are also participating in interviews and other off- track activities to determine their overall motorsports knowledge and racing philosophy. The Drive for Diversity(SM) affiliated team owners will then select drivers to compete for their teams within the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series in 2006.

The 2006 Drive for Diversity(SM) Driver Testing and Evaluation Combine includes the following drivers:

     -- Jayme Beck, Hunker, Pa., competed in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series in
        the Super Late Model Division, finishing 9th in points and 2nd in
        points in the Legacy Division at Jennerstown Speedway.
     -- Chris Bristol, Columbus, Ohio, made history as the first African
        American to win a race at Hickory Motor Speedway.  He had three wins,
        12 top-five and 14 top-ten finishes this season.
     -- Lori Cary, Ballston Lake, N.Y., raced on dirt tracks in the Pro Stock
        and the Hobby Stock Divisions yielding several wins ending the season
        5th in the points standing at Fonda and Orange County Speedways.
     -- Tracey Chambers, Timberlake, N.C., piloted a late model stock car in
        the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series finishing 10th in points with seven
        top-ten finishes at Ace Speedway.
     -- Brianne Cronrath, Fleetwood, Pa., a 2005 Drive for Diversity
        participant piloted the No. 54 National Guard Ford Taurus competing in
        Late Model Stock Car races at Motor Mile Speedway.
     -- Allison Duncan, San Rafael, Calif., a two-year member of the Drive for
        Diversity program was the first woman to win at Stockton 99 Speedway
        and the first rookie to win the points championship within her series.
     -- Marc Davis, Mitchellville, Md., drove within the NASCAR Dodge Weekly
        Series and the Road Coarse NASA Division at Summit Point and Hickory
        Motor Speedways.
     -- Michael Gallegos, Wheatridge, Colo., in 2005 piloted the
        Centrix/Sunoco No. 48 becoming the first Drive for Diversity
        participant to win pole position.
     -- Kelly Germain, Tucson, Ariz., finished 8th in points at Tucson Raceway
        Park with two top-five and 13 top-ten finishes.
     -- Paul Harraka, Fairlawn, N.J., had 20 wins competing in the World
        Karting Association and Stars of Karting Series this season.
     -- Jessica Helberg, Petaluma, Calif., competed at various tracks
        throughout the West Coast, achieving four top-five and 12 top-tens
        finishes.
     -- Joe Henderson, III, Franklin, Tenn., joined the Drive for Diversity
        program in 2004 as the program's youngest driver.  He competed during
        the 2005 season with MB2/MBV Motorsports piloting the Kodak No. 77.
     -- Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., drove the No. 17 Waste Management
        Ford for Belnvavis Racing as a participant of the Drive for Diversity
        program in 2005.
     -- Peter Hernandez, Chicago, Ill., competed within the Mid-American Stock
        Car Series, finishing first in points with 14 top-five finishes.
     -- Tommy Lane, Passaic, N.J., is the only program participant to date to
        be a part of both the crew and driver program.  In 2004, he was a
        front tire carrier for Hermie Sadler, then in 2005 Tommy drove the No.
        99 RacingOne.com/Allstate Dodge for Evernham Motorsports.
     -- Alison Quick, Redding, Ia., raced dirt modified and asphalt Late Model
        Stock Cars, winning the "Winners Circle" award from Circle Track
        Magazine's Young Racers Club.
     -- Mike Rodriguez, Drums, Pa., competed at Mountain Speedway in the Super
        Late Model Division with two wins, six top-five and 13 top-ten
        finishes.
     -- Michelle Theriault, Mooresville, N.C., competed in the USAR Pro Cup
        and the NASCAR Grand National West Series.  Her home track is Concord
        Motorsports Park.
     -- Terri Williams, Capron, Va., piloted the No. 02 Waste Management Ford
        for SCORE Motorsports owned by former NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver,
        Hermie Sadler and former NBA player, Bryant Stith.

New team owners joining Drive for Diversity are drag racing icon Frank Pedregon, Joe Gibbs Racing and NASCAR driver Jeff Spraker. Other teams will be announced in the coming weeks.

Drive for Diversity (Access Marketing & Communications)

Drive for Diversity(SM) is a diverse driver and crew member development program created and managed by Access Marketing & Communications, a Charlotte- based multicultural marketing firm founded in 2003 by The Radiate Group and Calhoun Enterprises. In 2005, the program will support seven drivers in the NDWS and one driver in the NASCAR Grand National Division and 12 crew members in the NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Grand National Division. Drive for Diversity(SM) is an initial step in a long-term solution to diversify NASCAR's participant and audience base. For more information, see the program's official website at http://www.drivefordiversity.com .


Source: Drive for Diversity(SM)

 

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