NASCAR and Rev Racing announced today the next generation of pit crew members who will begin training as participants in the 2022-23 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program class. Since the program‘s inception in 2009, Rev Racing has continued to recruit top-tier college and professional-level athletes, training them to become the next best over-the-wall crew members in NASCAR.
“We are excited to welcome some of the most competitive athletes and engineers in the nation to our pit crew development pipeline,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR Managing Director, Competition Operations. “Our commitment to the evolution of this pit crew development program continues to allow us to recruit, train and place candidates at the highest levels in NASCAR.”
The pit crew program is part of the overall NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program, which also nurtures aspiring drivers. All programs are geared toward providing opportunities for women and people of color in the pursuit of NASCAR careers. The program currently boasts a total of 60 crew members who perform weekly duties in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series, as well as 21 full-time graduates in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“We look forward to welcoming this year‘s class to NASCAR‘s most comprehensive pit crew training and development program,” Rev Racing CEO Max Siegel said. “We couldn‘t be prouder of the journey both our pit crew development program and graduates have taken from its inception.”
This year, five former college athletes were selected to participate and train in the 2022-2023 program. Rev Racing and the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program seek athletes from all sports. The program recruitment effort and training are led by Coach Phil Horton, Director of Athletic Performance for Rev Racing. The selection process is based on recommendations from coaches and athletic directors.
“With the expansion of our recruiting efforts across the country, the talent level continues to rise,” Horton said. “Our program continues to evolve and create more opportunities for advancement at a higher level.”
This year, Rev Racing will introduce several new techniques and support tools to its repertoire. These additions include a mental skills integral coaching program led by Shelley Russi, a former D1 NCAA referee and Founder of Third Side Coaching & ref-oloy.com; and Don Vaden, a former NBA Vice President and NBA Finals referee, who currently serves as an NBA Team Consultant and NASCAR spotter.
The Russi-Vaden team teaches sports performance, mental preparation, coping and reflection skills, and provides integrative life management empowerment for current NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew members throughout the season.
These new integrations are set to support the continued success of its program members and graduates. The program boasts some of the greatest athletes currently participating in the top level of NASCAR. Some of those athletes include Brandon Banks, former UNC — Charlotte and Washington Commanders football standout who is the jackman for the driver of the No. 4 Stewart Haas Racing Ford, Kevin Harvick. This has also been a banner year for program alumni Jeremy Kimbrough and Jerrick Newsome, both crewmembers for Trackhouse Racing, as well as Marcus Horton and Jorden Paige of 23XI Racing.
The 2022-2023 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program participants are:
NameHometownUniversitySport / Area of StudyD‘Andre AllgoodCharlotte, N.C.North Carolina A&T State UniversityAutomotive Engineering GraduateJoshua BaileyJacksonville, Fla.Iowa State UniversityFootballJaQuan BaileyJacksonville, Fla.Iowa State UniversityFootballDante JohnsonCovington, Ga.University of MiamiFootballNat OpokaFords, N.J.Marshall University /FootballUniversity of Miami
— NASCAR —