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NASCAR announces Drive for Diversity program’s Class of 2019

NASCAR announced six drivers Thursday for the Drive for Diversity Class of 2019, unveiling a group that blends talented newcomers with returning veterans.

Chase Cabre, Ernie Francis Jr., Rubén García Jr. and Nick Sanchez return to the driver development program next season. They’ll be joined by first-time participants Brooke Storer and Gracie Trotter.

The six were chosen from the 12 invitees to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Combine last October at New Smyrna Speedway and Bethune-Cookman University. The group will compete in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and Whelen All-American Series next year for Rev Racing.

RELATED: Scenes from the D4D Combine

“This year’s class features six highly talented drivers who each possess an impressive blend of skill and experience,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR senior manager of racing operations and event management. “We’re thrilled to see these drivers develop throughout the 2019 season and enjoy success both on and off the race track.”

The 2019 campaign will mark the 10th season that Max Siegel’s Rev Racing organization has fielded cars for the Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program. The team has amassed 19 wins in the K&N Pro Series and counts current Monster Energy Series drivers Kyle Larson, Daniel Suárez and Bubba Wallace among its distinguished alumni.

RELATED: Siegel applauds Wallace’s rise to NASCAR’s big stage

A glance at the six participants in the 2019 program:

• Chase Cabre: The 21-year-old Florida native returns for his third season with Rev Racing. He’ll compete again in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he wound up seventh in the 2018 standings.

• Ernie Francis Jr.: Francis rolled to his fifth consecutive Trans-Am Series championship in 2018, prevailing in five of the season’s 11 races. He also won the pole last year in his K&N East debut, in June at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Francis, 20, will compete in a mix of Late Model and K&N Series races in 2019.

• Rubén García Jr.: García secured the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series title for a second time last season and finished third in the K&N Pro Series East final standings. The 23-year-old driver will return to the K&N East tour, where he won twice last season.

• Nick Sanchez: The 17-year-old Floridian participated as an All-American Series rookie last season, mixing in a summer schedule of Legends Car events. Sanchez will be back in a Late Model car for Rev Racing in 2019.

• Brooke Storer: The 20-year-old driver claimed the Sportsman Division championship at Auburndale (Fla.) Speedway. Storer will wheel an All-American Series Late Model next season.

• Gracie Trotter: Trotter split time last season in the CARS Tour, PASS Super Late Model series and Legends Car events. The 17-year-old North Carolinian will take part in the Whelen All-American Series for Rev Racing next season.