By Itoro N. Umontuen
Thursday morning, six drivers with hopes of reaching the highest levels of NASCAR will compete for Rev Racing next season in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program, NASCAR announced today on its digital and social media platforms.
According to a press release, the 2019 class includes returning NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver Rubén García Jr., who is fresh off his second NASCAR Peak Mexico Series Championship and finished third in points in the NASCAR K&N Pro East Series in 2018.
Ernie Francis Jr., who recently won his fifth-consecutive Trans-Am Series Championship, will join Chase Cabre and Nick Sanchez as the development program’s other returning drivers.
Gracie Trotter and Brooke Storer will each make their NASCAR Drive for Diversity debuts for Rev Racing in 201
“This year’s class features six highly-talented drivers who each possess an impressive blend of skill and experience,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager of racing operations and event management. “We’re thrilled to see these drivers develop throughout the 2019 season and enjoy success both on and off the race track.”
The six drivers were selected from among 12 national and international drivers invited to participate in the two-day NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Combine at New Smyrna Speedway and Bethune-Cookman University in October.
Beginning in February, the drivers will compete for Rev Racing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for one full season with mentoring and equipment provided by the race team.
“We are energized by the opportunity to work with the members of this year’s class and foresee a very impactful year for Rev Racing,” said Max Siegel, CEO and Owner of Rev Racing. “NASCAR Drive for Diversity and Rev Racing are proud of the impact that we have had in the sport and we look forward to graduating the next generation of athletes to the national series.”
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program aligns drivers with a team of executives, athletic directors, crew chiefs and mentors tasked with helping them achieve career successes, and thus improving their goal of reaching one of the three NASCAR national series.
Since it began fielding cars for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program in 2010, Rev Racing has been one of the most consistent teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, registering 19 wins, 88 top-five and 199 top-10 finishes with drivers finishing top-10 in points each season.
This year’s class will look to follow in the footsteps of program graduates and current Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson, Daniel Suárez and Bubba Wallace.
NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program Class of 2019
- Chase Cabre, 21, Tampa, Florida. Cabre will return to Rev Racing for his third season. In 2018, he competed in both the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series and NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he finished seventh in the championship standings. Cabre will again compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2019.
- Ernie Francis Jr., 20, Southwest Ranches, Florida. In 2014, Francis Jr. became the youngest Trans-Am champion in series history. This past season, he captured his fifth consecutive series championship title. Francis will race a Late Model for Rev Racing and run in select events in the K&N Pro Series East.
- Rubén García Jr., 23, México City, México. In 2015, García Jr. became the youngest driver to win the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series Championship, and this year, won his second championship in the series. García Jr. also earned his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race win at Memphis International Raceway in 2018 followed with a victory at Dover International Speedway in October. García Jr. will continue racing in the K&N Pro East Series.
- Nick Sanchez, 17, Homestead, Florida. Sanchez completed his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series rookie season in 2018. He also raced in the Bojangles Summer Shootout with Rev Racing’s Legends Car program and finished sixth in championship points. Sanchez will race in a Late Model for Rev Racing.
- Brooke Storer, 20, Land O’ Lakes, Florida. Storer is the 2016 Desoto Speedway Sportsman Champion. This past season, she raced in the Wheel Man Series Late Model Sportsman division capturing two 50 lap feature wins. In 2017, she placed third in points in the Wheel Man Series. Storer will race in the Late Model for Rev Racing in 2019.
- Gracie Trotter, 17, Denver, North Carolina. Trotter is the winner of Round 5 of the Bojangles Summer Shootout in the Semi Pro division. In 2018 she competed in the CARS Tour & PASS Series at Concord, Hickory, Caraway, Orange Country, South Boston and Carteret County. She also raced USLCI Legend cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Concord, Anderson, Tri-County and Caraway. Trotter will race in the Late Model for Rev Racing in 2019.
This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Voice.