NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity search for new pit crew members at Alcorn

NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Program representatives visited Alcorn State University in search of potential team members.

The Program hosted tryouts Tuesday, April 16 in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex.

The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Program offers female and minority athletes the opportunity to pursue a career as a NASCAR pit crew member with a top NASCAR race team. If the selected athlete has the talent, through this rigorous
training program, it will take approximately three years to reach the highest level of the sport (the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series) at which time the annual salary is between $80 – $100,000.

This is a performance-based sport, and once an athlete has reached the top level with five or more years of experience, the earning potential for athletes on pit road extends to salaries of upwards of $150 – $200,000 annually.

Phil Horton, director of Athletic Performance for the Program, praised the athleticism of Alcorn’s student-athletes.

“Alcorn has some of the best quality athletes that we’ve ever seen,” said Horton. “We’re always impressed with their size, strength, and speed. Those qualities fit the requirements our team is looking for.”

DeAsia Brown, a senior computer science major from Chesapeake, Virginia, was confident in her performance during tryouts. She hopes to make the best of what she believes to be an excellent opportunity for her.

“I felt confident in my tryout,” said Brown, a former Braves women’s basketball player. “I’m very athletic and was up for the challenge. It would be great to come from an HBCU and make it on such a big stage because many of us don’t get these opportunities. This is a great opportunity for us.”

LeiShaun Ealey, a senior history major from Jacksonville, Florida, was excited to step out of his comfort zone to try something new.

“I wanted to see what it would be like to try out for a position at NASCAR,” said Ealey, a former member of the Braves football team. “I believe that you can make the best out of any opportunity, and I plan to do just that.”

Cyrus Russ, interim vice president for Athletic Compliance and Student Athletic Services, shared his appreciation for the continuation of Alcorn’s relationship with NASCAR.

“We’ve cultivated a great relationship with NASCAR over four years,” said Russ. “It grants a great opportunity for our student-athletes by giving them a different career field to look into once they graduate."