JAIDEN REYNA REFLECTS ON ADVANCED AUTO PARTS DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY DRIVER COMBINE
Concord, NC (November 18th, 2022) – In our sport as in most, when the season comes to an end, the training begins. The sponsor search starts and preparing for next season is in full focus. For some there are rougher roads than others, for example ethnically diverse and female drivers. With that, NASCAR and Rev Racing have created the Drive For Diversity for many pre-selected drivers. The drivers are selected from around the world and go through a rigorous selection process. They then are evaluated by judges from across the NASCAR industry. Each driver is assessed in different areas from physical fitness, on-track performance to media & marketing skills. The NASCAR Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program was created in 2004 with great success having Daniel Suárez and Kyle Larson as alumni of the program.
Jaiden was selected for this year’s drive for diversity combine. So let’s take a look at the program from our driver’s point of view. “The Combine is basically a tryout for the Rev Racing team,” Jaiden said. “I try to treat the Combine as more of a showcase; a chance to demonstrate the skills I’ve developed over my career so far. This is my first official Combine. I’ve been to a couple before, once when I was seven then nine, but it was nowhere near the magnitude of this one. Advanced Auto Parts sponsored the Combine this year and they really went all out.” The Official Auto Parts Retailer of NASCAR serves as the primary sponsor of the Advance Auto Parts Drive for Diversity Combine.
The drivers got a fresh take on racing on day one where they were challenged not in a car, but Go-Karts. The Combine drivers invaded the GoPro MotorPlex in, Mooresville, NC. A Karting complex used as a training ground by many teams and drivers, even ARCA stars are found testing at the facility. For this to be included set an exciting pace for the combine drivers working with skilled driving coaches. “I got to drive Rotax karts at GoPro and get coaching from Josh Wise and Scott Speed. It was my first experience in those karts and it was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. I’m hoping to go back to GoPro to work with Josh and Scott even more next season.” But Karting was a warm up for what was next, full body stock cars. “Everyone who’s old enough to drive them gets three sessions in the Late Model Stock car. Carroll SpeedShop provided the cars this year. It was a real pleasure to have the opportunity to drive one of their cars. They brought some stout pieces to the track for us.”
As many in our sport quickly learn, this is a business and to be successful in Motorsports one must get down to the brass tax of branding, business and media. “There was a lot of media stuff going on over the whole three days so you get tons of experience in front of the camera,” Jaiden said. “At the Chevy Tech Center we got to have a meeting with Team Chevy’s marketing representatives. They gave us a lot of good information on the Chevy brand, our personal brand identity, what their sponsors and partners are looking for, and how important their fans are to them. So they covered a lot of details about the business side of the sport and what they expect from us.”
Building better and stronger drivers, yes, as well as preparing them for the business side of our sport. Thanks to programs like this our sport will grow into something even better than it already is. And these drivers becoming well rounded influencers for the future stars of our sport.
Jaiden’s final thoughts before heading into meetings today. “Personally, I’m walking away feeling more confident and accomplished. I feel like I fulfilled all the goals that I set for myself for this Combine.” He continued, “I have to thank Max Siegel, Rev Racing, NASCAR, and Team Chevy for the opportunity to participate in the Combine. Advance AutoParts for sponsoring the event, Carroll Speedshop for providing the cars, Sergio Campos for providing the Karts, Josh Wise and Scott Speed for the coaching, and South Boston Speedway and GoPro for hosting us this week.”
Television coverage of the events can be seen starting this Sunday, November 20th on FloRacing at 5pm ET.