DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Eight talented young drivers from various backgrounds were selected to the newest class of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program, NASCAR and Rev Racing announced Wednesday.
The 2021 roster for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program includes returning veterans, a rising iRacer, two FB y BOHN Mikel’s Trucks drivers and the 2020 World Series Dirt Nationals champion.
Nick Sanchez, Rajah Caruth, Isabella Robusto, Lavar Scott and Regina Sirvent are Rev Racing veterans returning to the program in 2021. This season will mark the first year of NASCAR Drive for Diversity participation for drivers Justin Campbell, Andres Perez de Lara and Jaiden Reyna.
Sanchez will race full-time in the ARCA Menards Series after a successful rookie season in the ARCA Menards Series East. Caruth, a prominent iRacer who made his transition to the race track in 2019, is advancing to compete in the ARCA Menards Series East while also continuing to race in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series in 2021.
Scott and Sirvent are advancing to join Caruth in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series after racing Legend cars in the 2020 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Driver Development Program for Rev Racing. Robusto will also compete in the Late Model division. Newcomers Campbell, Perez de Lara and Reyna will race U.S. Legend cars.
“We are thrilled to welcome these accomplished drivers to our successful development program,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR Director, Racing Operations and Event Management. “We’re enthusiastic about their future and look forward to working with each driver as they advance their racing careers.”
Traditionally, drivers are selected after participating in a two-day NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Combine sponsored by Honda Generators that includes on-track assessments. The 2020 combine was canceled due to the impact of COVID-19, so candidates were evaluated based on applications, references, historical success and previous on-track performance by a panel comprised of NASCAR industry members. To apply, interested drivers submitted a racing resume and video highlights to NASCAR and Rev Racing.
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program was created in 2004 to develop and train ethnically diverse and female drivers both on and off the track. NASCAR Cup Series drivers Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suárez and Kyle Larson are alumni of this program, which is operated by Rev Racing in Concord, N.C.
“We could not be more pleased with the 2021 class selection,” said Max Siegel, Rev Racing Owner. “Each year the competition in the sport continues to rise and so does the talent of our applicant pool. We feel very confident in our ability to be competitive and look forward to a successful season.”
Wallace debuted in the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2018 and finished second in the Daytona 500 that season. He also has six wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he became the first African American driver since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott to win a NASCAR race. This season, Wallace will make his debut with the 23XI Racing team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.
Suárez won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2016 and became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR national series championship. This season Suárez will debut with Trackhouse Racing, a team co-owned by music icon Pitbull. Kyle Larson is a six-time NASCAR Cup Series race winner and has qualified for the NASCAR Playoffs four times. This month at Daytona International Speedway, Larson will begin his first season driving for Hendrick Motorsports.
The 2021 class features the following drivers:
- Nick Sanchez – ARCA Menards Series: The 19-year-old driver from Miami, Fla., had a fourth-place finish during his ARCA Menards debut in 2020. He finished third in the 2020 ARCA Menards Series East point standings with two top fives and three top 10s.
- Rajah Caruth – ARCA Menards Series East and NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series: The 18-year-old driver returns to Rev Racing and will compete in the ARCA Menards Series East. The Washington, D.C., native won once at Greenville Pickens Speedway in a Late Model stock car in 2020. Caruth also finished sixth in points at the Charlotte Summer Shootout racing in the Semi-Pro Division.
- Isabella Robusto – NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series: The Fort Mill, S.C., native, 16, returns to Rev Racing after finishing third at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2020. She also won the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Young Racer Award for the second time.
- Lavar Scott – NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series: Scott secured two podium finishes at the 1/5 Mile Trophy Dash at Charlotte Motor Speedway in a Legend car and won back-to-back races in a 600 Micro Sprint. The 17-year-old from Carney’s Pointe, N.J., also won the World Series Dirt Nationals.
- Regina Sirvent – NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series: The State of Mexico, Mexico native competed in the FB y BOHN Mikel’s Truck Mexico Series, winning twice. The 17-year-old driver had a third-place finish at the Charlotte Summer Shootout with three top fives and five top 10s.
- Justin Campbell – U.S. Legend Car: The 15-year-old from Griffin, Ga., earned a top-10 finish in the standings at the 2020 Thursday Thunder Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 2018, he competed in a Bandolero with two top-10 finishes and a win.
- Andres Perez de Lara – U.S. Legend Car: The Mexico City, Mexico native competed in Formula 4 and won four races. The 15-year-old driver also competed in the FB y BOHN Mikel’s Truck México Series and had one win. Perez De Lara was 2020’s youngest winner in Latin American Formula 4.
- Jaiden Reyna – U.S. Legend Car: Reyna earned two first place finishes at Lincoln Speedway in the Young Lion Division. The 14-year-old from Cornelius, N.C., also had ten firsts, one second and one third-place finish at the 2020 Charlotte Summer Shootout in the Young Lion Division.