Drive For Diversity Program News
Tiffany Daniels Turns Heads At Drive For Diversity Combine, Successful SoBo Showing Puts Daniels On Top Of The Testing Charts
Oct 19, 2007 - updated Oct 19th, 2007 8:29pm
Web posted by Jason Buckley, 51 Sports
Smithfield, VA. --
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:October 18, 2007
Tiffany Daniels gets advice from NASCAR busch East driver Peyton Sellers at the South Boston test. (NASCAR Photo)
The fifth annual Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine took place October 15th and 16th at South Boston Speedway (VA) with one of the most talented group of drivers ever assembled. Over 200 drivers applied for the 24 allotted spots to test their skills behind the wheel and in front of the camera to hopefully land a future job in the motorsports industry.
Late Model Stock car driver Tiffany Daniels was selected as one of the 24 drivers to participate in the Combine. After the two-day event completed, she showed she not only knows her way around race cars and how they operate, but is a fast learner and talented from behind the wheel of any racing vehicle. home bio schedule / results news fan spot fan forum contact
“It was a really great opportunity to show team owners and NASCAR officials your skill behind the wheel and also outside the car in media interviews,” said Daniels. “It helped show them that you are serious about racing and can perform on the track.”
Daniels took to the track on the first day looking to learn about the heavier cars, but mechanical issues with the car she was in ended her day early.
“The cars and engines are used NASCAR Busch East equipment,” said Daniels. “There is nothing wrong with that, but I think the motors have already been run through their normal lifespan. After I was on the track for about 15 laps the motor let go in my car and shut off. That happened to one of the other cars as well, but they got it straightened out. I got to go out the second day first thing in the morning to finish my run. I am glad that I got the chance to go back out and get some good times in.”
Daniels was sidelined for the rest of the first day's on-track action, but got back in the car on the second day. It didn’t take long for Daniels to get up to speed and impress the others in attendance. “I felt like I was doing a good job,” said Daniels. “The line that you run with the Busch East car is completely different from the Limited Late Model and Late Model, so that was an adjustment to get used to. It almost hurt me knowing the track as much as I do because I kept wanting to go back into my old habits and run that line. I had to force myself every lap to run the line that the Busch East cars need to run to be fast around there.
“Frank Deiny and Peyton Sellers were the driver mentors. Frank was calling out our times over the radio. I thought they were good, but I didn’t know everyone else’s times since they only tell you your time. Frank said I was doing such a great job that I was going to take his and Payton’s job scrubbing tires and being a driver mentor.”
Daniels completed her stint in the race car as a driver, but her impressive lap times and consistency put her back on the track to help out the other Combine drivers.
“After all the 24 drivers had run, Frank told me I had the fastest times, but that isn’t confirmed,” explained Daniels. “They know I was the fastest girl. I turned several 16.0s in a row and the next fastest girl turned 16.2s. There was one guy, Rubin Pardo from Mexico City, that might have also turned a few 0s, but Frank Deiny was pretty sure I turned the quickest laps. I was really happy knowing that since several of the other candidates have raced Busch East cars, some of them for more than a year, so I was happy to be able to be fast and post such good times.
Tiffany Daniels has raced this year many times at South Boston Speedway in her Limited Late Model and Late Model Stock. “After I was done with my run they actually had me scuff in some tires for the other candidates. The cars were all prepared the same, but each car had different seat sizes so it was easier to fit different sizes of drivers in the car. I used the smallest seat size and Frankie and Payton couldn’t fit very well, so they had me scuff tires in that car after my run. Those laps on the sticker tires didn’t count towards my Combine times, but it gave me experience to see how that felt and how quickly I could get up to speed on sticker tires.”
While Daniels will not know the official results from the Combine and anything that comes from it for some time, the experience and exposure she received was valuable to her and her career in motorsports.
“I thought it was a great experience overall. It was awesome to meet the other candidates who were from all different parts of the country and world. It was interesting to talk to drivers with different backgrounds. It was also a great experience to drive a Busch East car since that is my next step. Getting a little bit of seat time in the car and knowing that I could get up to speed in it helped my confidence for the future in whatever series or car I will be getting into in the future, whether it would be Late Models or Busch East cars next year. The media training was also great. Anytime you can get advice on how to present yourself better in the media is always helpful. “Hopefully something will come from it. I already have had the opportunity to be on the Sirius Satellite Radio NASCAR channel. ESPN also taped an interview with us so we have had extra exposure from it. I am hoping it will turn into something good like a ride for next year, or if not at least I will continue to get exposure from it to help out my future career. Overall it was just a great experience and a great opportunity.”
Daniels now shifts her focus back to her Late Model Stock car, which she will run back on her home track in a few weeks.
“I will be at South Boston for open practice this Saturday in my Late Model and we are going to be working really hard trying to be one of the top cars heading into next weekend’s 300-lap race. I am looking forward to getting out there in my car and having a good run at the SoBo 300.”
Tiffany Daniels will return to South Boston Speedway in South Boston, Virginia on Saturday, October 27th for the “SoBo 300” Late Model Stock Car event.