Four Former VSU Student-Athletes Participate in Second Annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine

Daytona Beach, Fl. — A select group of former college football, basketball, softball, and track and field athletes from across the country will put their pit crew skills to the test in the second annual NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine presented by Goodyear on Friday, May 26.  

The 17 athletes, four from Virginia State University, earned invitations to compete as part of a nationwide talent search. They will be evaluated based on a series of fitness, agility and pit crew drills and competitions at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina.

Top-performing participants will be invited to join NASCAR Drive for Diversity's crew member development program, operated by Rev Racing, and will receive expert training as tire changers, carriers and jackmen as they pursue full-time employment with NASCAR national series race teams.

"As we saw with last year's inaugural national combine, the caliber of athletes now competing for opportunities to train with NASCAR Drive for Diversity is stronger than ever," said Jim Cassidy, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. "As the program grows, it's attracting top-quality talent and competitors who we believe have the potential to excel at the highest levels of NASCAR."

NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine presented by Goodyear participants include:

First Last Hometown University Primary Sport
Charles Beatty Phoneix, AZ Arizona State Univeristy Football
Marcell  Blair Charlotte, NC N/A Football
Bryce Bradley Richmond, VA Virginia State University Football
Devin Byrd Fayette County, TN N/A Baseball
Trevon Bryon Newport News, VA Virginia State University Football
Sandy Chapman Raleigh, NC Norfolk State University Football
Kendra  Cooper Spring, TX Bethune-Cookman University Basketball
Torian Henderson Silver Spring, MD Norfolk State University Football
Gerard Johnson Richmond, VA Norfolk State University Football
Jalen  Jones Indianapolis, IN Vincennes University Football/Track & Field
Sherry Lewis Dinwiddie, VA Virginia State University Bowling/Lacrosse
Ryan Nantuna Elk Grove, CA Arizona State Univeristy Wrestling
Sophia  Ortega Highland, CA Bethune-Cookman University Softball
Ezell Ruffin Los Angeles, CA San Diego State University Footabll
Tramel  Topps Milwaukee, WI Arizona State University Football
Kevin Walcott Los Angeles, CA San Diego State University Softball
Alisha  Williams Mississauga, ON Virginia State University Track & Field 

NASCAR Drive for Diversity also offers a driver development program, operated by Rev Racing, and each year fields six drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Successful graduates now competing in a national series include Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers Kyle Larson and Daniel Suárez and NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr.

For the first time, Goodyear becomes presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine. The "Official Tire of NASCAR®" has been a longtime supporter of Rev Racing and NASCAR Drive for Diversity, and supplies the team with race tires for competition.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' Coca-Cola 600 was broadcasted live from Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 28 at 6 p.m.