2019 NASCAR Drive for Diversity class announced

by Justin Nguyen

NASCAR unveiled the Drive for Diversity program’s Class of 2019 on Thursday. Consisting of four returning members of past classes and two new faces, the six will join Rev Racing in feeder series teams. 2018 members Chase Cabre, Ernie Francis Jr., Rubén García Jr., and Nick Sanchez make their returns for the 2019 class, while Brooke Storer and Gracie Trotter are newcomers to the program.

“This year’s class features six highly talented drivers who each possess an impressive blend of skill and experience,” said NASCAR Senior Manager of Racing Operations and Event Management Jusan Hamilton stated. “We’re thrilled to see these drivers develop throughout the 2019 season and enjoy success both on and off the race track.”

The six were selected from a field of twelve eligible drivers who participated in a driver combine at New Smyrna Speedway in October.

2018 was Cabre’s second full-time season in the K&N Pro Series East, driving the #4 and #15 Toyota for Rev. In fourteen races, he recorded eight top tens, three top fives, and a best finish of fourth at Memphis Motorsports Park as he finished seventh in points. He will return to the series for 2019.

Trans-Am star, Francis has won five consecutive championships across various classes in the category, with 2018 seeing a TA Class title. As such, he is a road course expert; in his K&N East debut at New Jersey Motorsports Park in June, he scored the pole and finished second. Francis intends to run late models and K&N races in 2019. In 2017, Francis ran the Xfinity Series race at Road America, but retired after 16 laps with engine trouble.

García is a two-time PEAK Mexico Series champion, winning in 2016 and 2018. In 83 career Mexico Series races across seven seasons, he has seven wins, twenty-six top fives, eighty-three top tens, and eleven poles. García has also competed full-time in the K&N Series East since 2016, winning two races in 2018 and finishing third in points. He intends to continue racing in the series in 2019.

Sanchez races in the Whelen All-American Series and legends cars.

The two females in the D4D, Storer and Trotter compete in late models and will participate in the All-American Series during the 2019 season. In 2018, Storer won the Sportsman Division title at Auburndale Speedway in Florida, while Trotter also raced in the CARS Tour and PASS Super Late Model series.

The Drive for Diversity was formed in 2004 in an effort to promote minority and female drivers. Rev Racing, owned by former Dale Earnhardt, Inc. executive Max Siegel, regularly fields members of the program in his K&N and All-American Series teams. Successful members of the D4D have included Monster Energy Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. and 2016 Xfinity champion Daniel Suárez.

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