Big Steps: NASCAR and Diversity

John LucreziContributor IJune 6, 2008

  Diversity within sports has always been a huge topic, but in NASCAR it's an issue that's holds great importance for the sport to grow larger. In recent years NASCAR has really stepped up its efforts to bring more "race" into racing.


    The most recent influx of this has come this year with drivers with names like Franchitti, Carpentier, and second year contender Juan Pablo Montoya who has not only made a name for himself but has visited victory lane last year in Sonoma on the road course, which he is a master of. Carpentier who is just coming back from an injury is in the same boat as Franchitti, figuring out how this stock cars drive, which are night and day to an open wheel Indy style cars they have been use to. I myself want to see Motor Cross star Bubba Stewart get his time behind the wheel of a stock car, I really think he could do some good things.


   NASCAR of old really never had alot of diversity within itself, which gave it is stereo type of "a bunch of good ol' boys" driving there cars. Everyone knows NASCAR started when people were transporting moon shine illegally through the mountains, but those guys never seen what it would turn into. The first real diverse driver that made headlines in my mind is Wendell Scott, born in Danville, VA is to this day the only black name to win a Sprint Cup Series race back then it was the Grand National Series that was on December 1, 1963, as a note he went from taxi driving to running moonshine then into NASCAR. Scott ran over 500 Grand National race's and finished in the top ten an amazing 147 times. Other notable black names to reach NASCAR's top level have been Bill Lester whom has always done pretty well in the Craftsmen Truck Series, and Willy T. Ribb's. Ribb's is also known as the man that backed out of the ride that got Dale Sr. his first big shot at Cup racing, look what happened.


   No matter what NASCAR is really getting the ball moving with its "RACE for DIVERSITY" program aimed at helping diverse drivers get there foot in the door and move up the ladder. The steps they have taken to move out of the "good ol' boy" mold are the right ones and more then ever it is showing how  NASCAR is the biggest racing series in the world!