NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Recruitment Tour returns to Alcorn
Former student athletes at Alcorn State University will have the opportunity to embark on a possible career as a NASCAR pit crew member.
The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Recruitment Tour made a stop at the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex Thursday, March 23 to find NASCAR’s next pit crew members. The program is a comprehensive training program for aspiring minority and female pit crew members. The program is designed to identify, coach, train and develop minority athletes who possess the skill, ability and attitude to be a successful pit crew member in one of the three NASCAR national series.
Last year, Breanna O’Leary, a former softball player at Alcorn, tried out and successfully made it to the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development Program. This year, Euricka Hardy, a senior and former member of Alcorn’s women’s track and field team, followed in her footsteps in being the only female athlete to participate. She said that O’Leary’s success inspired her to try out.
“Being the only female athlete and seeing how far Breanna was able to make it gives me the confidence I need to succeed,” said Euricka.
LaDonn Bolden, a senior who played football, had a great time measuring his agility and strength against that of his peers at the tryouts. He believes that a career in NASCAR could be a great opportunity.
“Once they showed us the video of what the program has to offer, I knew I had to try out,” said LaDonn. “I’m very competitive, so to come out and compete against my peers and possibly compete against students from other schools from across the country is very exciting.”
Denzel Dulin, a senior and former member of the Braves men’s basketball team, was excited to try something that was outside of his comfort zone.
“With graduation approaching, I thought that taking advantage of this opportunity would be a smart decision,” said Denzel. “I like trying new things, so exploring a possible career as a NASCAR pit crew member is very intriguing.”
Phil Horton, director of Athletic Performance at Rev Racing, was so impressed by last year’s group of Alcorn athletes that he had to come back and see what the University had to offer this year.
“We came back to Alcorn because of the number of quality athletes the University presented to us in the past,” said Horton. “Alcorn had a good group of big, strong and fast athletes that fit the requirements we look for.”
Lauren Houston, senior account executive for NASCAR’s Multicultural Development, said that NASCAR is all about providing opportunities for students.
“Not only do we want the students to get involved with the NASCAR pit crew program, but we also want to get them involved in other NASCAR opportunities such as the NASCAR Diversity Internship Program, entry level positions and scholarships” said Houston. “We want to share this type of information with them so that it will peak their interest in NASCAR.”