NASCAR’s 2024 Drive for Diversity Class: Meet the Drivers of the Driver Development Team

Published 11/20/2023, 9:47 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

From gifting NASCAR nation their 2021 Cup Series champion and HMS sensation, Kyle Larson to giving the community the first Black Cup Series driver to compete in multiple races, NASCAR’s drive for diversity knows no bounds in bringing talents across the globe to the center stage. Ever since its inception back in 2004, the organization’s driver for diversity development program has pushed the boundaries, hand-picking, and training them into world-class athletes irrespective of their backgrounds.

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On Monday, NASCAR and its drive for diversity partner, Rev Racing announced their 20th-anniversary driver development class, naming drivers who were selected following their participation in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine. The event was held in Concord, North Carolina where NASCAR’s Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion announced the names – some of which were familiar names while others were prospects to look at.

ARCA favorites get in the 20th-anniversary driver development class as the big announcement makes the headlines

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On Monday evening, the organization and Rev Racing announced their 2024 class. The list had 2 returning drivers from the ARCA ranks including Andrés Pérez de Lara who will reprise his role with Rev Racing in ARCA Menards Series. Besides De Lara who will retain his spot in the ARCA circle, Lavar Scott will move from ARCA Menards East to make his way to the ARCA Series National tour.

Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson, 23XI Racing‘s Bubba Wallace, and the Mexican native Xfinity Series champion, Daniel Suarez all got their shot because of the sanctioning body’s initiative to look for and groom competent drivers and introduce them to the world stage. 

DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA – AUGUST 26: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, greets fans as he walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on August 26, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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Speaking on the same, Brandon Thompson, NASCAR’s Vice President for Diversity & Inclusion said, “Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program and we’re celebrating this milestone by welcoming a very talented group of drivers. We’re confident that next year’s group of drivers will continue elevating the depth of our talent pool and we’re thrilled to play a role in their development.”

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Rev Racing co-owner, Mike Siegel, former Dale Earnhardt Inc. President also expressed his delight seeing the new crop of talents for the 2024 class.

Meet the new faces of the driver development scheme

Other than the ARCA drivers, 14-year-old Texas native, Nathan Lyons who won the 2023 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards Youth Racer Award and a third-place finish in the 2023 Cookout Summer Shootout point standings will also be part of the list of 9.

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As per NASCAR, Siegel said, “We are extremely energized by the talent we saw this past November at the Combine. From returning drivers to new participants in our program, we look forward to the season ahead and the development of this pipeline of NASCAR’s future stars. We’re proud of our accomplishments since the program’s inception and our expansion into the national series in 2023. We are poised for continued success with this next driver class, as we remain committed to being a championship-contending team and one of the premier development programs in NASCAR.” 

Meanwhile, Cassidy Keitt and LaQuan McCoy Jr join the list from the INEX Legend Car series alongside Lyons as part of the 2024 class. Moreover, the 2024 batch has 3 ladies including Keitt, with others being Lanie Buice and Regina Sirvent. Buice has an exceptional record of 91 total wins in go-karts, including 23 straight wins in her final season, while Sirvent hailing from Mexico City was the first female driver to win in the Trucks Mexico Series, finishing the 2020 season third on points.

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The rest of the two include 18- year-old Eloy Sebastián López Falcón and TJ DeCaire. Falcon was the 2021 Rookie of the Year in the Trucks Mexico Series, taking the title the following year, whereas DeCaire earned 3 victories in the Late-Models, Pro Late Models, and Truck Weekly Touring Series.

 

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Written by:

Kishore R

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Edited by:

Ariva Debnath

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