Michael Lira, the seventeen-year-old race car driver and high school student from Port Orange, Florida, has been selected to compete for a spot in NASCAR through the NASCAR Drive for Diversity (D4D) program. In recent years, the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program has been a hotbed for some of the most promising young talent in the sport. Drivers like NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Kyle Larson and three-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race winner Darrell Wallace Jr. are both products of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program, and Lira hopes to follow in their footsteps.
“This is such an amazing opportunity,” Lira said. “I’ve seen how Kyle Larson and Darrell Wallace Jr. have progressed and what they’ve achieved and I really aspire to make it to that level.”
Under the leadership of Rev Racing owner Max Siegel, the Drive for Diversity combine has evolved into an academy-style development program. Lira, a Peruvian-American driver who does the majority of his professional racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, was one of twenty multicultural and female drivers from the United States, Canada and Latin America invited to the Drive for Diversity combine. At seventeen years old, Lira was one of the youngest drivers invited to participate.
“This year’s Combine applicant pool was among the strongest the program has seen, and we continue to see that year over year,” said Siegel. “The program’s visibility and reputation for developing young, female and diverse drivers with talent and growth potential has increased across the board, and we are seeing steady recognition and support from key stakeholders across the motorsports industry.”
Lira has shown a great deal of promise running for Kimmel Racing in the ARCA Racing Series, notching a string of top-10 finishes in his rookie campaign. The highlight of his 2014 ARCA season came in his superspeedway debut at Pocono Raceway, where the talented young rookie surprised everyone by qualifying fourth before going on to score a ninth-place finish in the ModSpace 125.
The Drive for Diversity Combine will be held at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Virginia, October 13 – 15, 2014, where drivers will compete for a spot in the 2015 NASCAR D4D Class in partnership with Rev Racing. Drivers will be individually evaluated based on several criteria, such as overall speed, instinctive positioning on various parts of the race track, the ability to communicate feedback to the crew chief and the ability to shift during assessments.
For a live streaming schedule of the Combine, visit FansChoice.tv. For more information on Michael Lira, visit www.MichaelLiraRacing.com, follow Michael on Twitter at @LiraRacing or @1MichaelLira and check out the team’s Facebook page at /MichaelLiraRacingOfficial.