NASCAR & Auto Racing

NASCAR team owners to get look at diversity program's sixth class

At least 26 drivers from several forms of racing will showcase their skills in front of NASCAR team owners Oct. 13-14 at the sixth annual Drive for Diversity testing and evaluation combine at South Boston, Va.

This year's candidates were selected from more than 200 applicants and 14 of the drivers will earn a ride in a NASCAR development series for the 2009 season.

"Over the past five years we have seen the skill level and experience of our applicants increase exponentially," said Malcolm Calhoun, vice president of Access Marketing & Communications, which runs the program. "We are excited to again provide the opportunity for this talented group of young, minority and female drivers to showcase their motorsports skills."

The 26 drivers will be evaluated both on and off the track.

Among those expected to attend: Mackena Bell of Carson City, Nev.; Kristin Bumbera of Sealy, Texas;, Michael Cherry of Valrico, Fla.; Tiffany Daniels of Smithfield, Va.; Phil Dugan of Meridian, Idaho; Mike Gallegos of Phoenix; Jonathon Gomez of Twin Falls, Idaho; Katie Hagar of Nobleboro, Maine; Paul Harraka of Fair Lawn, N.J.; and Laura Hayes of Wilton, Calif.

Also attending: Rebecca Kasten of Mequon, Wis.; Lindsey King of Cherry Valley, Calif.; Kortney Kosiski of Ralston, Neb.; Ashlee Lynch of Piedmont, S.C.; Ruben Pardo of Mexico City; Juan Pitta of Galt, Calif.; Megan Reitenour of Miamisburg, Ohio; Jason Romero of Cameron Park, Calif.; Natalie Sather of Fargo, N.D.; Caitlin Shaw of Albuquerque, N.M.; Jonathan Smith of Beacon Falls, Conn.; Emily Sue Steck of Holman, Wis.; Trista Stevenson of Pocahontas, Ill.; and Jesssica Wood of Newport News, Va.