NASCAR holds second national pit crew combine in Concord
17 college athletes participate in NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Combine for new opportunities.
After visiting race shops and the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday, it was time to get down to business for the 17 men and women invited to participate in the 2017 NASCAR Drive for Diversity National Pit Crew Combine presented by Goodyear.
The participants, who all previously competed in collegiate athletics, took part in drills and pit stop practice on Friday afternoon at the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.
Each participant went through a battery of timed tests and simulated pit stops to determine who’ll get an invite to the one-year training program conducted through Rev Racing.
Phil Horton oversees the program and is looking for men and women who have the potential to make it all the way to a pit crew on the NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup level.
“We’re here at an excellent facility provided to us by NASCAR to hold the combine,” said Horton. “We’re here to educate and help these athletes learn NASCAR. Television doesn’t give the whole picture of NASCAR for these athletes and this program helps educate them and prepare them for a career in NASCAR.”
Lamar Neal, a graduate from last year’s first national combine who played at Norfolk State University, has already worked his way up to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.
“One of the things we do when we go recruiting nationally at schools we look at their top athletes who probably won’t make it to the next level in their sport but have the ability to excel in this due to their work ethic and athletic ability and Lamar did that coming through the program,” Horton said.
University of Kansas graduates Kapil Fletcher and Tedarian Johnson both were selected from last year’s combine and they’ll participate on pit crews in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday.
“They are working as independent contractors and will be assigned a team for the 600,” added Horton.
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