Six drivers will compete in diverse driver development program DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D), the leading developmental platform for female and multicultural drivers and pit crew members, announced its 2015 class today. The program welcomes four talented program newcomers to the roster of six drivers striving to transition into the sport’s national series spotlight. Rev Racing, the program’s competition arm, has played a key role in the development of 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year Kyle Larson and NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers Darrell Wallace Jr . and Daniel Suarez. "Taking steps to find and develop young female and multicultural athletes who could represent the future of NASCAR is at the core of our organization’s mission," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "We were impressed by the talent displayed at the Combine [in October of 2014], and are eager to help this group develop their strengths on and off the track." Rev Racing will field four teams in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and two in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The 2015 class is led by returning K&N Pro Series East driver Jay Beasley and Devon Amos, who after an impressive 2014 performance in the Whelen All-American Series earned a spot in the K&N Pro Series East. The 2015 NASCAR D4D roster includes: Devon Amos : Returning to the team, the 23-year-old Rio Rancho, New Mexico, native will make the jump to the K&N Pro Series East after two full seasons in the Whelen All-American Series. Jay Beasley: Finishing 13th overall and sixth in a loaded Sunoco Rookie of the Year field in the K&N Pro Series East last season, the 23-year-old from Las Vegas, Nevada will return for a second season, aiming to best his rookie campaign. Collin Cabre: After an impressive NASCAR D4D Combine performance, the 21-year-old Thonotosassa, Florida, native will compete in the K&N Pro Series East in his first year with Rev Racing. Cabre has spent the past five years racing asphalt and dirt sprint cars. Natalie Decker: A 17-year-old newcomer to the Rev Racing roster from Eagle River, Wisconsin, Decker collected feature wins in a limited late model and super late model, as well as earning Rookie and Sportsman of the Year honors in ARCA SCAG Midwest Truck Tour. She will compete in the Whelen All-American Series in 2015. Kenzie Ruston: Entering her third season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and first with Rev Racing, the 22-year-old El Reno, Oklahoma, native is also a member of NASCAR Next, an industry initiative to identify tomorrow’s stars. Ruston broke her own record in 2014 as the highest finishing female driver in the K&N Pro Series East with a runner-up finish at Iowa Speedway on her way to finishing ninth in points. Dylan Smith: The 22-year-old from Randolph, Vermont earned a spot with Rev Racing in the Whelen All-American Series after competing in his own Late Model last year. The Stewart-Haas Racing employee ran 15 races and finished 38th in the Whelen All-American Series Division I national standings. Under Rev Racing owner and CEO Max Siegel’s leadership, the development program aligns drivers with a team of executives, athletic directors, crew chiefs and mentors tasked with helping NASCAR D4D drivers achieve career successes; thus, improving their goal of reaching one of NASCAR's three national series. "NASCAR Drive for Diversity goes much deeper than putting drivers behind the wheel of race cars," said Siegel. "The program is all encompassing, providing competition, athletic training and professional development opportunities for drivers who have the determination and talent to reach NASCAR's top levels. We've seen this with Larson, Suarez and Wallace Jr. and are excited about the potential of this talented group of drivers." Growth of the program extends to pit crew members under the NASCAR D4D Crew Member Development Program, also managed by Siegel. In 2014, over 30 multicultural athletes pitted fulltime for teams across all three national series.
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Learn more about the sister of Ryan Blaney and the daughter of Dave Blaney RELATED: Subscribe to NASCAR Illustrated Editor's note: Photo by Jim Fluharty Hometown: "I was born in Warren, Ohio, but moved to High Point, North Carolina, when I was 7. High Point is a small town that is fun and friendly. I've recently moved in with my parents in Concord, North Carolina — they love having me home, I'm sure. Charlotte is one of my favorite cities, so I'm happy to be so close." My boutique: "In March of 2014, my mom and I opened EmLeigh’s and Mama B’s in Concord. It's been a dream come true. I wake up every day excited to go to work. I am working in my dream closet. What 24-year-old girl (Emma turned 24 on Tuesday, Jan. 20) wouldn't love that?" Fashion: "I have always been the girl who isn't afraid to wear just about anything. Fashion and style are just ways of being yourself. You need to show you through anything you do, and one of the easiest ways to speak without saying anything is through what you wear." Favorite midnight snack: "I can tear up some edamame and some Cosmic Brownies. I have the appetite of a 5-year-old, so you'll always see me with Nerds Rope, Pop-Tarts, honeybuns or chocolate milk." Favorite app: "Instagram or Vine. I can easily waste two hours looking through pictures or watching hilarious videos." Music that moves me: "Physically, hip-hop or rap. I do an awful lot of unattractive dancing, but it's just so fun for me. If good music is playing, I'm dancing. Mentally, John Legend. In my head, he is singing all those cute love songs to me, and it turns my bad days into good ones." Favorite movies: "My all-time favorite is 'The Sandlot.' I watched it growing up and it never gets old. But I also love just about any movie starring Jim Carrey." Favorite websites: "I am married to a little thing called Pinterest. I know it is just so typical 'girl,' but whoever thought of Pinterest deserves Edible Arrangements every week because they are making the female population very happy." Habit I'd like to kick: "Putting on workout clothes but never actually working out. I find myself putting on workout clothes and walking to the Waffle House all too often." Biggest influence in my life: "My family. I have a dad who has worked hard his entire life, has never given up on what he loves and would do anything for our family. I have a mom who has kept us all in line. She has a lot on her plate but makes sure all of us are always taken care of. I have a younger brother who is doing big-boy things and living out his dream. And I have a younger sister who is always supportive of everyone and can make anyone smile at any time." SUBSCRIBE NOW!
Unparalleled tool technology innovator joins family of official NASCAR partners RELATED: NASCAR Official Release From the high-pressure stakes in the garage to split-second decisions on pit road, NASCAR teams are driven by the most skilled pit crew members and technicians in the motorsports industry. Today, the unveiling of a new partnership will welcome a staple in the garage for more than 50 years to the family of Official NASCAR Partners. NASCAR and Ingersoll Rand, a global leader in reliable and innovative power tools, announced a multi-year partnership designating Ingersoll Rand as the "Official Power Tools of NASCAR." The agreement also designates Ingersoll Rand as an Official Partner of the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) and as a contingency sponsor in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series. Ingersoll Rand's power tools revolutionized NASCAR pit stop tire changes at their introduction to the sport in 1959, and the company quickly became a familiar sight in the garage selling and servicing the tools for peak performance. "Ingersoll Rand has been rooted in racing for decades and this renewed relationship celebrates the tireless work of pit crew mechanics and passionate race fans across all levels of racing," said John Evans, president of power tools at Ingersoll Rand. "We know how important tool performance is in racing – if your tools perform, your vehicle performs. We are now putting high -performance Ingersoll Rand tools into the hands of the best auto technicians in the world while engaging fans who have a passion for cars." In 1995, Ingersoll Rand was made famous in the garage when Jeff Gordon and then crew chief Ray Evernham's "Rainbow Warriors" pit crew had a series of unmatched victories, rooted in spectacular pit road performances. Evernham helped Ingersoll Rand in 1998 introduce the latest generation of pit stop tire changing tools, the Thunder Gun, to teams seeking more power, speed and durability under pressure, which is still used today and offers the highest performance. "Ingersoll Rand, a global brand that has a rich history in NASCAR, understands how to utilize our sport to effectively connect with the racing community," said Jim O'Connell, chief sales officer, NASCAR. "The new partnership reinforces their desire to engage fans across all levels of our sport and we are proud to welcome them to our family of Official NASCAR Partners." As part of Ingersoll Rand's official partnership with NASCAR, the company will be at the track each weekend providing expert tool support, service, new tool demonstrations for pit crews and will offer fans the opportunity to try tools first hand. Additionally, Ingersoll Rand will launch its Home Tracks Text-to-Win contest for fans at tracks throughout the season. Fans will have opportunities to win Ingersoll Rand prize packs and meet-and-greets with pit crews and other high-profile racing personalities. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Company becomes 'Official Power Tools of NASCAR, IMSA' RELATED: Tool innovator joins family of NASCAR sponsors DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- NASCAR and Ingersoll Rand, a global leader in reliable and innovative power tools, today announced a multi-year partnership designating Ingersoll Rand as the "Official Power Tools of NASCAR." An innovator in tool technology, Ingersoll Rand products have been a staple in NASCAR garages for more than 50 years. The multi-faceted agreement also designates Ingersoll Rand as an Official Partner of the International Motorsports Association (IMSA) and as a contingency sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Touring & Weekly Series. "Ingersoll Rand has been rooted in racing for decades and this renewed relationship celebrates the tireless work of pit crew mechanics and passionate race fans across all levels of racing," said John Evans, president of power tools at Ingersoll Rand. "We know how important tool performance is in racing -- if your tools perform, your vehicle performs. We are now putting high-performance Ingersoll Rand tools into the hands of the best auto technicians in the world while engaging fans who have a passion for cars." NASCAR technicians are recognized as being among the most qualified in the automotive industry, and they demand high performance tools. According to a recent study commissioned by NASCAR and conducted by Research Now, more than half (52 percent) of automotive professionals (i.e. technicians, service managers, etc.) are NASCAR fans. The same study also revealed that more than half (52 percent) of automotive professionals associate NASCAR products with high performance. As part of this integrated partnership, Ingersoll Rand will be at the track each weekend providing expert tool support, service, new tool demonstrations for pit crews and will offer fans the opportunity to try tools first hand. Additionally, Ingersoll Rand will launch its Home Tracks Text-to-Win contest for fans at tracks throughout the season. Fans will have opportunities to win an Ingersoll Rand prize pack and meet-and-greets with pit crews and other high-profile racing and automotive personalities. "Ingersoll Rand, a global brand that has a rich history in NASCAR, understands how to utilize our sport to effectively connect with the racing community," said Jim O'Connell, chief sales officer, NASCAR. "The new partnership reinforces their desire to engage fans across all levels of our sport and we are proud to welcome them to our family of Official NASCAR Partners." The NASCAR contingency programs foster strong relationships between competitors and the high-quality, performance-driven brands in the program, by providing prize money for each race and at the end of each racing season. Competitors become eligible for the money by displaying partner decals on their race vehicles. As a sponsor of the contingency program, Ingersoll Rand will celebrate and reward the work of pit crew mechanics each week during the NASCAR Sprint Cup season and at select Home Tracks throughout the year with prize money and tools. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Father of Johnny Sauter made 76 career starts in premier series Jim Sauter, a racer and father of four drivers including NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Johnny Sauter , died on Friday night shortly before the conclusion of the Truck event at Texas Motor Speedway , according to ThorSport Racing. He was 71. Sauter competed in 82 NASCAR national series races from 1980 to 2004, including 76 premier series starts. The native of Necedah, Wisconsin, made his final NASCAR Nationwide Series start at the Milwaukee Mile in 2002, racing against his sons Jay, Johnny and Tim. Jim Jr. followed in his father's footsteps as well. In addition to these four sons, Sauter is survived by his wife, Debbie, eight additional children, 51 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two sisters. A two-time champion in the ARTGO Racing Series in the Midwest, Sauter tested International Race of Champions cars with fellow Wisconsin racers Dave Marcis and Dick Trickle. His son, Johnny, learned of his father's passing following Friday's Winstar World Casino & Resort 350. His lone win of 2014 came at Michigan International Speedway , and he acknowledged it was a special victory in his post-race comments that recalled his dad's recollections of the track. "I'm just going to relish in this win because this has been a tough, tough race track for me throughout my career," Johnny said. "My Dad always said, 'That place is easy.' But, I never felt that way. Until today, I mean when you have a truck like this -- it was just awesome." NASCAR issued the following statement on Jim Sauter's passing: "NASCAR offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Jim Sauter. A true racer, Jim passed on his passion and competitive spirit to his children and grandchildren. A driver himself with roots in the Midwest, his reach and impact extend across the entire sport." The racing community expressed condolences on social media with a sample included below from Sauter's former competitor Mark Martin ; fellow Wisconsin racer Roy Kenseth, father of Matt; crew chief and former IROC chassis specialist Ray Evernham and NASCAR Senior Vice President, Racing Operations Jim Cassidy. Sorry to hear Jim Sauter died. He was a really good man and a great racer. — Mark Martin (@markmartin) November 1, 2014 Thoughts and prayers go out to the Jim Sauter family today. pic.twitter.com/ydHNAQcXQT — Roy Kenseth (@roykenseth) November 1, 2014 Really sorry to hear about passing of Jim Sauter. Worked with him for many years at IROC. Crew chiefed for him at Pocono 1990 #RIP — ray evernham (@RayEvernham) November 1, 2014 Thinking about the Sauter family. Jim Sauter's contribution to stock car racing and NASCAR will be felt for many generations. Good man. — Jim Cassidy (@jfcassidy) November 1, 2014 MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView