DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Chris Bristol is making history in NASCAR racing.
Bristol joined the program this year after spending the last two seasons racing in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series as part of the Joe Gibbs/Reggie White Driver Development Program. He made history in April 2005 when he won the Late Model feature race at the Hickory, N.C. Motor Speedway. The win was the first for an African American driver in the track's 55-year history. Bristol finished the season with two victories, 12 top-five finishes and three pole positions in 17 races.
"Everybody knows how tough it is to race late models," Bristol said. "To be able to win at a track as historic as Hickory, and to consistently be in the top five, shows I have the potential to do this and make a career out of it."
The Columbus, Ohio native joins seven other participants in the 2006 Drive for Diversity program. He drives the No. 99 Kodak Chevrolet.
"Chris' presence in our program enhances the Drive for Diversity program's credibility and recognition due to his success with Joe Gibbs Racing the past few years," said Greg Calhoun, owner of Access Marketing & Communications, which runs the program.
"Not only does he bring on-track success but he also is a role model off the track for our younger drivers in the program. Chris is a true professional and he represents our program very well both internally and externally," Calhoun said.
"We are excited that both Chris and Ken have joined the Drive for Diversity program," said Tish Sheets, NASCAR director of diversity. "This flagship on-track diversity program is a great tool to help diverse drivers showcase their talents in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and advance to NASCAR's national series as their performance dictates."