The 2011 Drive for Diversity Team.
NASCAR and Revolution Racing rolled out their 2011 Drive for Diversity team. The team is a project spearheaded by former Dale Earnhardt Incorporated President Max Siegle and former Robby Gordon Motorsports executive John Story.
The goal of Drive for Diversity is simple: to give minorities and women a chance to not only race but also for others to gain experience as pit crew members and mechanics.
Drive for Diversity is in its eighth year and it has grown to be a rousing success. A total of 42 drivers have won 38 races in the eight-year history of the program.
Roughly 200 applicants were narrowed down to 36 drivers that auditioned in October for the 10 spots on this year's teams. Six drivers from last year return, including Sergio Pena and Darrell Wallace Jr.
The following 10 drivers will compete in different NASCAR regional series across the country.
Jorge Arteaga comes to Drive for Diversity from NASCAR Mexican Series.
Jorge Arteaga comes to Drive for Diversity from Aguascalientes, Mexico. He was voted the most popular driver in the 2010 NASCAR Mexico Series and in his three NASCAR K&N Pro starts in the United States in 2010 he managed a 10th place finish. Arteaga now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina as he prepares to race a full season for Revolution Racing.
Mackena Bell is learning fast of the demands outside of the cockpit.
Mackena Bell hails from Carson City, Nevada and is in her second year with the Drive for Diversity program. Bell's first year was a success.
Three of her five starts resulted in top fives in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, including a second place finish.
Bell will once again race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series this season and with one year in the program under her belt, a win is all but inevitable for the soon-to-be 21-year-old racer.
This will be Bell's ninth season in racing. She has gone through a steady progression from Super Dirt Karts to the K&N Pro Series.
Jessica Brunelli is another West Coast racer in her 2nd year with Drive for Diversity.
Jessica Brunelli is a West Coast racer in her second season with the Drive for Diversity program and Revolution Racing. Brunelli will be racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series once again after a successful campaign in 2010.
The Hayward, California native is bolstered by a 2010 season in which she nabbed six top-fives and 10 top-10 finishes. Overall in 2010, Brunelli had eight top-fives and 13 top-10s.
She finished her season in Las Vegas in an open Super Late Model event. She set a new track record at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway's famous Bullring and finished fourth in the race.
Michael Cherry is in his third season with Drive for Diversity.
Michael Cherry has earned his third season with the Drive for Diversity program and he won his first race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series last summer.
After two years of competing in the lower series, Cherry will move up to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East this season.
The Valrico, Florida native will be in his eighth season of racing this year and his most successful season may have been his first with Drive for Diversity. He scored seven top-fives and 19 top-10s in 21 races.
Trey Gibson won two races for Drive for Diversity last season.
Trey Gibson became the youngest driver to win at Greenville-Pickens Speedway and now the 18-year-old will embark on a season under the auspices of Drive for Diversity.
Gibson's season in super late models at Greenville-Pickens Speedway was a season worthy of notice. Gibson scored two poles, two wins, 11 top-fives and 20 top-10s.
Gibson will now race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for Revolution Racing as he attempts to climb the ladder to the NASCAR elite series.
Andy Santerre counsels young Revolution Racing driver Ryan Gifford in between sessions.
Ryan Gifford is in his second season with the Drive for Diversity after a successful first year run in the K&N Pro Series East. Gifford finished 10th in the point standings, notched his first pole of his career and scored four top-fives in the competitive series.
Gifford, a native of Winchester, Tennessee will return to the K&N Pro Series East with more experience and new understanding of what it takes to run well in a competitive series. Gifford will win at least one race this season and he should be able to contend for a title.
Tayla Orleans has been racing snce the age of 7.
Tayla Orleans is new to the Drive for Diversity program but not new to racing. She has been racing since she was seven years old. She has raced everything from karts to super late models and she has won in all of them.
Orleans has won championships in karting and she has won 31 races in her career, including super late models.
Orleans, who hails from Randleman, North Carolina was the youngest driver ever to win Waterford Speedway in Connecticut. Orleans will race in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series.
Bryan Ortiz is a new addition to the Drive for Diversity program.
Bryan Ortiz will join the Drive for Diversity program racing in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Ortiz raced in the Sunoco National Series in 2010 for former NASCAR Cup driver Sterling Marlin's team.
Ortiz captured the Rookie of the Year Award for the series, won a pole and finished in the top five four out of the seven races that comprised the series.
Sergio Pena burst onto the scene last season with a memorable battle with Joey Logano.
Sergio Pena burst onto the scene in last year's Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale. Before a national television audience on Speed, Pena won the pole in his first K&N Pro Series race and fought back and forth with NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year Joey Logano.
Pena put the Drive for Diversity program in the spotlight last season with that performance finishing second to a NASCAR Cup star. Pena's 2010 K&N Pro Series East season was average.
He finished 12th in the standings and scored three top-tens, including a career-best sixth place finish. Pena will once again race in the K&N Pro Series East this season and he is expected to improve and win more than one race in 2011.
Joe Gibbs Development driver will race for Drive for Diversity program this season.
Darrell Wallace Jr. won two races in the K&N Pro Series East series and will make his 2011 debut at the Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale this weekend. Wallace Jr. is looking to make a statement in the first race of the season before a national audience.
Once the Toyota All-Star Showdown is in the books, Wallace, a native of Mobile, Alabama will embark on his second season in the K&N Pro Series East. Wallace garnered Rookie of the Year honors last season in the series and won two races.
The young Wallace graduated from high school this week and celebrated by attending the announcement of the Drive for Diversity winners, including himself, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in downtown Charlotte.
This season is important in the development of Wallace's career and he is hoping to drive a few races in other Joe Gibbs equipment this season to show he is ready to graduate to the next level in his career.