GM Racing Driver Development Program completes stages 1&2

September 27th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: GM Racing Driver Development Program completes stages 1&2

GM Racing is in the process of hosting a three-stage Development Driver Evaluation Program. The purpose is to place a group of select young drivers in a controlled environment to give Chevy Nextel Cup, Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series racing teams the opportunity to meet the drivers and observe their on-track skills. All Chevrolet teams have been invited to attend and observe the drivers. GM Racing engineers along with Pratt-Miller staff members are in attendance at all three stages to accurately gather data for review by Chevy team representatives.
A total of 16 drivers with a wide variety of racing backgrounds were invited to participate in the first two stages of the program: Chase Austin, Colin Braun, Landon Cassill, Jeremy Clements, Marc Davis, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Jay Gerst, Drew Herring, Woody Howard, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Joey Lagano, Tim McCreadie, Chad McCumbee, Josh Richards, Jason Sarvis and Kody Swanson.
"We are excited to offer this unique opportunity to our NASCAR teams," said Pat Suhy, NASCAR program manger for GM Racing. "Continuing to build our NASCAR racing future with our Chevy team partners is critical to the continued growth and success of the Chevrolet nameplate on the track. Unlike other programs of this nature, there are no winners or losers. Our program provides opportunities for both the drivers and the teams to connect if an opening exists in someone's driver roster.
The first stage was held September 12-13, 2006 at Caraway Speedway, Asheboro NC and showcased the drivers in NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) cars. The cars were prepared and the trackside crew furnished by Richard Childress Racing (RCR). Two-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Ron Hornaday, Jr. set the baseline of the cars and remained available throughout the day's activities to answer questions and coach the drivers. Each driver was given a 20-minute test and tune session to work on the setup and get more comfortable in the car. After the crew did a final check of the car, the driver competed a 40-lap run of timed laps. The cars were equipped with data acquisition equipment to assist in evaluation of driver's performance. Approximately 1,400 laps were run with just four minor spins and no damage sustained to any of the cars; a strong testament to the talent of the drivers participating in the evaluation program.
Stage II of the program was held September 19-20, at Dale McDowell Dirt School located at North Georgia Speedway, Chatsworth, GA. Three different dirt track cars - crate-motor dirt late model stock car (approximately 450 hp); a spec-motor dirt late model stock car (approximately 550 hp) and an open-motor dirt late model stock car (approximately 800 hp) -were setup and a baseline established by veteran dirt late model champion Dale McDowell. Again, with over 1,000 laps completed, there were no significant incidents on-track despite the wide variety of dirt track experience, ranging from none to full-time competitor.
The final stage is scheduled for October 10-11, 2006 at Nashville Superspeedway, Nashville TN. Drivers will again be showing their skills in RCR-prepared Busch Series cars.(GM Racing PR)

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