Story By: MARIELKIS SALAZAR / NASCAR – DAYTONA BEACH, FL – NASCAR and Rev Racing announced today the next generation of drivers participating in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program.
Following a national and international search, eight talented drivers were selected to the newest class after participating in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine.
Lavar Scott, Andrés Pérez de Lara, Jaiden Reyna and Justin Campbell are returning to Rev Racing for the 2023 season. Paige Rogers, Eloy Sebastián López Falcón, Caleb Johnson and Nathan Lyons will make their debut in 2023.
Nick Sanchez, who participated in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program in 2022 and won the ARCA Menards Series Championship with Rev Racing last year, is advancing to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Sanchez will pilot the No. 2 Gainbridge Chevrolet for Rev Racing with its technical alliance partner, Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
Rajah Caruth also graduated from the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program and will be competing full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driving the No. 24 for GMS Racing. Caruth is a prominent iRacer who made his transition to the racetrack in 2019.
“We’re excited to welcome our newest class of drivers and be a part of their growth and development,” said Jordan Leatherman, NASCAR’s Director, Diversity and Inclusion. “We’re proud to see Nick Sanchez and Rajah Caruth graduate from the program and start a new chapter in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Their success reflects their talent and hard work.”
Drivers were selected after participating in the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine held in November of 2022 in Charlotte and South Boston, Va. Participants from the United States and Mexico were evaluated by judges from across the NASCAR industry. Each driver was assessed in different areas from physical fitness and on-track performance to media and marketing skills.
“We are extremely energized by the talent we saw this past November at the Combine,” said Max Siegel, Rev Racing Owner. “We look forward to the season ahead and developing this amazing class of incoming drivers. This year’s class represents a talented pipeline of NASCAR’s future stars. Our entire Rev Racing organization is committed to being a championship contending team and one of the premier development programs in NASCAR. We couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishments last season and of Nick and Rajah’s growth. We remain especially thankful to Chevrolet and Gainbridge for investing in Rev’s growth into the truck series with Nick Sanchez. This will be a pivotal year for our organization and this next class of drivers.”
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program was created in 2004 to develop and train ethnically diverse and female drivers both on and off the track. NASCAR Cup Series drivers Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suárez and Kyle Larson are alumni of this program, which is operated by Rev Racing in Concord, N.C.
Suárez made history in 2022 becoming the first Mexican-born driver to win a race in the NASCAR Cup Series. A trailblazer in NASCAR, Suárez also made his mark in the sport when he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in 2016. In 2023, Suárez enters his third season driving for Trackhouse Racing, a team owned by Justin Marks and Pitbull.
Wallace is the first Black driver to win multiple Cup Series races. In 2021 he became the first Black driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series race in almost 60 years. In 2023, Wallace enters his third season with the 23XI Racing team owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.
Larson is the first graduate of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship. The Northern California native of Japanese descent won the 2012 K&N Pro Series (now ARCA Menards Series) Championship with Rev Racing. Currently, he’s the only Asian-American driver competing regularly in NASCAR Cup Series.
The 2023 class features the following drivers:
Andrés Pérez de Lara – ARCA Menards Series: The Mexico City, Mexico, native, 17, returns to Rev Racing after competing in the NASCAR México Series and NASCAR México Challenge categories. He is 2022’s NASCAR México Challenge champion.
Lavar Scott – ARCA Menards Series East: The 19-year-old from Carney’s Pointe, N.J., returns to Rev Racing after securing 1st place at Hickory Motor Speedway and his first career win in the NASCAR Truck México Series at Autódromo de Querétaro in Mexico in 2021.
Justin Campbell – NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model: The 17-year-old Griffin, Ga., native returns to Rev Racing for his third season after earning two top 5s and two top 10s in the 2022 Cook Out Summer Shootout in the semi-pro division.
Jaiden Reyna – NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model: The Cornelius, N.C., native, 16, returns to Rev Racing after securing two 1st place finishes at Lincoln Speedway in the young lion division. Reyna also finished a career high 2nd place at Florence Motor Speedway in the late model division.
Paige Rogers – NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series Late Model: The 19-year-old from Fort Wayne, Ind., will make her debut with Rev Racing in 2023. Rogers is the 2021 runner-up in the O’Reilly Auto Parts Late Model Sportsman division at Corrigan Oil Speedway.
Caleb Johnson – INEX Legend Car Series: The Denver, Co., native finished 5th in the Carolina Pro Late Model Series point standings. The 14-year-old also has an iRacing background.
Nathan Lyons – INEX Legend Car Series: The 13–year-old originally from Texas, moved to Concord, N.C., to pursue his dream to race in NASCAR. Lyons had five top 10 finishes in the 2022 Cook Out Summer Shootout Outlaw Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Eloy Sebastián López Falcón – INEX Legend Car Series: The Oaxaca, Mexico, native will make his debut with Rev Racing in 2023. The 17-year-old is 2022’s NASCAR Truck México Series champion.