Monday, March 19, 2007

Funny how the market works.

NASCAR has a 'Drive for Diversity' program, designed to bring more not white male people into the sport as drivers, owners, and crew members. Thus far, the program has pretty much been a failure, with only one non-white driver in any of the three major series (Bill Lester).

Leave it to a team owner, one Rusty Wallace, to add a non white driver to his development program. Why?
Austin will join Steve Wallace, the youngest son of NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace, as one of the two drivers currently competing under the RWI banner. Wallace and Austin will pilot identically painted No. 66 HomeLife Communities Dodge Chargers prepared at the state-of-the-art RWI complex, located just north of Charlotte, NC. Though he is only 17 years old, Austin has won more than 100 feature races in go-karts, stock cars and sprint cars.

How about that. He can win! We go on to learn...
Much like Rusty Wallace, Austin competed and won, in the Midwest-based American Speed Association before deciding to make the jump to NASCAR. With that in mind, Wallace, one of NASCAR’s top-ten all-time winningest drivers and ABC / ESPN’s Lead Auto Racing Analyst, is eager to help Austin become a pioneering and successful African American driver in one of NASCAR’s touring series and beyond.

The NASCAR Busch East Series features 13 races, plus the NASCAR All-Star Showdown event, at 12 tracks, using cars similar to those in the NASCAR Busch Series.

Noted Wallace, “When we started looking at ways to grow our team, NASCAR brought Chase Austin to our attention. We ended up inviting him to a test at Greenville-Pickens Speedway and we were all very pleasantly surprised at how well he did,” Wallace continued, “I believe that Chase has a real future in this sport. Not only is he fast, but he understands the sponsorship and public relations side of things, which is definitely unique for someone his age.”

He can win, and he's able to deal with sponsors, and be a positive spokesman.

“While Chase is not a part of the Drive for Diversity program, we all definitely support it and fully believe in the cause,” Wallace said, “Right now though, Chase just wants to focus on driving for Rusty Wallace, Inc. and learning what it takes to win races at a higher level. We’re going to give Chase everything he needs to do just that. I really believe that he’s going to have a great year; if it goes as well as we hope, we could potentially be looking at Steve (Wallace) having a Busch Series teammate in 2008.”

Be good at what you do, find success. Regardless of what you look like. Without a special program. How about that.

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