"Having drivers from all walks of life is likely very critical"The same week that a Mexican driver won a NASCAR Busch East Series event in Nashville (story here), this article from Fox Sports examined NASCAR's efforts to attract minority drivers:
...NASCAR, the most popular auto racing series in America, is still searching for ethnic diversity among its ranks.The Hispanic Nashville Notebook has covered NASCAR's minority and Hispanic-focused efforts in the following stories that span the past four years:
But it's been a painstakingly slow process. Racers aren't developed overnight, especially racers who aren't spawned from racing families...
In a country that is considered the world's melting pot, a concerted effort to produce a racing roster more representative of society has been in motion since the Drive for Diversity was launched in 2004...
"The development of professional athletes takes time," said Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR's Managing Director of Public Affairs. "NASCAR has consistently said we would be patient and continue to support this process; that we'd start at the developmental level and be committed for the long haul. We have a talented group of young minority drivers in NASCAR (both in and outside Drive for Diversity), and we are looking forward to their continued development...
Pat Suhy, GM's NASCAR field director, expresses a lot of pride in the Chevrolet teams that have stepped up to help the cause. Joe Gibbs Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing and Ginn Racing have all opened doors to aspiring minorities, from local tracks to the NASCAR Grand National Series.
"In the past, there might have been fewer opportunities for minority drivers to gain that experience behind the wheel of a race car and that's what we're trying to help change. It's important that our sport appeals to people of all types and that everyone feels welcome at NASCAR races. Having drivers from all walks of life is likely very critical to achieving that goal."
- NASCAR: slow but sincere in diversity march
- Former Vandy linebacker has Hispanic dreams for NASCAR
- Mexican NASCAR driver will race at Music City Motorplex
- Mexico City embraces NASCAR race, attracts Nashville speedway's attention
- Sunday race brings NASCAR to Mexico
- NASCAR detours through Mexico City to build Hispanic fan base
- NASCAR creates program to find Hispanic drivers and crew
- NASCAR courts growing Hispanic fan base
- NASCAR to market to Hispanics
Photo by Roger Smith