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Sports Auto Racing

Drive for Diversity is showing results

NASCAR has been trying for a long time to change the complexion in the garage. For all those efforts, you don't see a lot of black or brown faces in the pits or behind the wheel.

But you have to credit the organization for its continued push to change those dynamics. Witness NASCAR's Drive for Diversity combine at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., on Wednesday and Thursday. The combine will include 24 drivers ages 16 to 24 vying for a spot with Revolution Racing in 2012. This will be the third season that Revolution Racing has participated in the program, with strong results.

Darrell Wallace Jr. became the first black winner in K&N Pro Series East history and its rookie of the year in 2010. Wallace and fellow Drive for Diversity competitor Sergio Pena each won three races last season.

Wallace will make his debut in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2012 for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Sponsorship struggles: A number of teams and drivers are struggling with sponsorship issues for next season. First and foremost is Matt Kenseth, who could win the Sprint Cup title this year without a sponsor going into next season. Crown Royal announced earlier this year that it was dropping its affiliation with Kenseth and his Roush Fenway Racing team.

"I'm not going to get stressed out about it, especially right now in the Chase and with all the things we've got going on," Kenseth said Saturday night after winning the Bank of America 500. "I don't know really what else we can be doing, except for trying to be competitive and run good."

Say no to ovals: There will be many conversations about what can be done to prevent tragedies like the one we saw Sunday when IndyCar driver Dan Wheldon was killed after a massive pileup in Las Vegas. Jimmie Johnson said that IndyCar cars should race on street circuits and road courses, but not on ovals because the cars are not built to withstand the bumping.

"I wouldn't run them on ovals. There's just no need to," Johnson said Monday. "Those cars are fantastic for street circuits, for road courses. I hate, hate, hate that this tragedy took place. But hopefully they can learn from it and make those cars safer on ovals somehow."

George Diaz

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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