Drive For Diversity Program News
Drive For Diversity Driver Marc Davis Takes Program To Victory Lane
Mar 27, 2006 - updated Mar 27th, 2006 10:30pm
Web posted by Jarian Kerekes
Charlotte, N.C. --
Backed by new sponsor Levi Strauss Signature®, Davis earns first-place in Limited Late Model stock car race at Hickory Motor Speedway.
(March 27, 2006)
In his debut race with the Drive for Diversity® program and Joe Gibbs Racing, 15 year-old Marc Davis won the Limited Late Model stock car race at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway Saturday night. In doing so, he became just the second African-American to win a stock car race at Hickory, joining former Joe Gibbs Racing development driver Chris Bristol who won at the famed short track last April.
After starting third, Davis took the lead during the final lap and piloted the No. 92 Levi Strauss Signature® Chevrolet to victory, making him the first Drive for Diversity driver to win in 2006. Hickory’s Limited Late Model division is one of six support classes at the historic speedway, one step below the premier NASCAR-sanctioned Late Model Stock Cars.
“The diversity program is a real source of pride for all of us at Joe Gibbs Racing,” said J.D. Gibbs, team president. “Thanks to Reggie White’s vision, our diversity program was the first to be founded and the first to win races. It’s a proving ground for young drivers like Marc Davis, and already he’s carrying on the tradition set by our original drivers – Chris Bristol and Aric Almirola.
“Talent behind the wheel of a race car comes in all shapes, sizes, creeds and colors. The program’s success has allowed the company to think long term, because we have some really good drivers developing on the grassroots level. Their success will ensure this team’s success now and in the years to come.”
With early momentum on his side, Davis will continue his season at Hickory Motor Speedway for the remainder of 2006.
“Joe Gibbs Racing and Levis Strauss Signature have given me a wonderful opportunity and I’m looking forward to an awesome year and great things to come,” added Davis.
Davis’ win was the first of 18 races that Levi Strauss Signature will serve as either his primary or associate sponsor during the 2006 season. Levi Strauss Signature is a mass channel apparel brand marketed towards families and an associate sponsor of reigning Daytona 500 champion Jimmie Johnson. Levi Strauss Signature is also an official partner of NASCAR.
“Levi Strauss Signature is proud to partner with a young and talented driver in Marc Davis,” said Scott LaPorta, President, Levi Strauss Signature brand. “We congratulate Marc on his historic victory Saturday night and look forward to achieving greater success together in 2006.”
“We are excited about our new partnership with Levi Strauss Signature and Joe Gibbs Racing,” said Bryan Kryder, Director of the Drive for Diversity program. “Levi Strauss Signature is such a trusted corporation, and with Joe Gibbs Racing – leaders in motorsports and diversity efforts – it’s great having them join forces to help develop such a talented driver.
“Marc is an exceptional young man – a fun-loving, humble individual who on the race track is a truly ambitious competitor.”
Davis, a native of Mitchellville, Md., already has several championships under his belt, most recently the 2005 NASA (National Auto Sport Association) Road Course Points Championship in the Super Unlimited Division. Davis also added team ownership to his roster in 2005. While still a sophomore at Lake Norman High School in Mooresville, N.C., he currently owns a team in the Florida FASTkids/Fastrucks Series and a Limited Late Model team at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. All the while, he maintains excellent grades while being an active member of SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving).
About The Levi Strauss Signature® Brand With a rich heritage of quality casual clothing, Levi Strauss & Co. developed the Levi Strauss Signature® brand. Levi Strauss Signature™ is distributed in more than 10 countries worldwide and gives value-conscious consumers access to high-quality and fashionable clothing from a company and name they trust. The line includes a complete collection of clothing and accessories for all members of the family and is available at mass merchants nationwide. Bottoms range in price from $19 to $25 and jackets retail for up to $30. For more information about the Levi Strauss Signature® brand and its products visit www.levistrausssignature.com.
Joe Gibbs Racing
Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is one of the premier organizations in NASCAR, currently fielding three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams, three NASCAR Busch Series teams and a NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series team.
Its driver lineup consists of Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley in Nextel Cup, Hamlin and Yeley in Busch, and Marc Davis in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. Development drivers also under contract to JGR are Aric Almirola in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, along with Woody Howard and Joey Logano, both of whom compete in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series.
In partnership with the late Reggie White, a Hall of Fame defensive end who played in the National Football League, JGR formed the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series team as part of its diversity program. It is a grassroots stock car team that identifies and assists minorities with the desire and talent to make a career in motorsports.
Based in Huntersville, N.C., and owned by Joe Gibbs – a three-time Super Bowl-winning coach, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and current coach of the Washington Redskins – JGR has competed in NASCAR since 1992, winning three Cup Series championships and over 50 NASCAR races, including two Brickyard 400s and the 1993 Daytona 500.
Drive for Diversity
Drive for Diversity is an ethnic and gender minority driver and crew member development program created and managed by Access Marketing & Communications, a Charlotte-based multicultural marketing firm founded in 2003 by The Radiate Group and Calhoun Enterprises. In 2006, the program will support eight drivers in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and 12 crew members in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Drive for Diversity is an initial step in a long-term solution to diversify NASCAR’s participant and audience base. For more information, please visit www.drivefordiversity.com.