Seventeen former college athletes were selected during a nationwide talent search. The former football, basketball, softball, and track athletes were evaluated on a number of agility, fitness, and pit crew drills as they compete for an invitation to join NASCAR Drive for Diversity’s crew member development program which is operated by Rev Racing.
As a member of the development program, the participants will receive expert training as tire changers, carriers, and jackmen in hopes of securing full-time employment with NASCAR national series race teams.
This year’s participation list:
Charles Beatty Arizona State University Football
Marcell Blair N/A Football
Bryce Bradley Virginia State University Football
Devin Byrd N/A Baseball
Trevon Byron Virginia State University Football
Sandy Chapman Norfolk State University Football
Kendra Cooper Bethune-Cookman University Basketball
Torian Henderson Norfolk State University Football
Gerard Johnson Norfolk State University Football
Jalen Jones Vincennes University Football/Track & Field
Sherry Lewis Virginia State University Bowling/Lacrosse
Ryan Nantuna Arizona State University Wrestling
Sophia Ortega Bethune-Cookman University Softball
Ezell Ruffin San Diego State University Football
Tramel Topps Arizona State University Football
Kevin Walcott San Diego State University Softball
Alisha Williams Virginia State University Track & Field
Current program participants Lamar Neal, a participant in the inaugural pit crew combine, was handpicked to join Richard Childress Racing due to exposure from a Facebook video. He is now pitting for the team in the NASCAR XFINITY Series.
Another of last year’s participants, Brehanna Daniels, recently pitted in two races making her the first African-American female tire changer in NASCAR. I had the chance to catch up with both Daniels and Neal at the Combine this past Friday.
Flip through the pages for the exclusive interviews as well as photos from the Combine.