Buckles Advances Out Of Drive For Diversity(SM) Program

By Blackathlete.net wire report via PRNMedia.com
Updated: July 6, 2005

Buckles Accepts ARCA Opportunity; Cronrath Joins Team

Morty Buckles

Morty Buckles will be driving for former NFL wide receiver Terence Mathis in the ARCA Racing Series

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 1 /PRNewswire/ — Access Marketing and Communications President and CEO Greg Calhoun, in conjunction with Belnavis Racing, announced today that Drive for Diversity(SM) driver Morty Buckles has accepted an opportunity in ARCA Series Racing with Victory Motorsports, owned by Terance Mathis, former wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons. Buckles marks another milestone in the program’s history as the first Drive for Diversity(SM) driver to advance from a late model stock car into another series.

“Morty has been a member of the Drive for Diversity(SM) program from the foundation of the initiative and we are thrilled about this great opportunity for him with Victory Motorsports,” said Calhoun. “We congratulate Morty and wish him success in his new endeavor. He will always be a part of the Drive for Diversity(SM) family.”

“I would really like to thank Sam Belnavis, Belnavis Racing and everyone at the National Guard for giving me such a magnificent opportunity to drive for their team during 2004 and 2005 in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series. Also, I would like to thank Access Marketing & Communications for giving me the opportunity to have participated and advanced from the Drive for Diversity Program endorsed by NASCAR. These events and relationships have presented me with the opportunity to join the Victory Motorsports team where I will continue to develop and drive in the ARCA/Remax series.”

Brianne Cronrath, who was one of 18 participants in the 2005 Drive for Diversity(SM) Driver Combine in October 2004 at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia, has accepted the open position in the No. 54 National Guard Late Model Stock Car, beginning immediately.

“We are also delighted to see that the program’s ultimate goal of developing diverse and female driving talent is continuing,” added Calhoun. “Brianne had a strong performance in our 2005 Driver Combine, and we are excited to add her to the team this season.”

“I am so excited about this opportunity to get behind the wheel of a great car with a team like Belnavis Racing and I am really happy for Morty, he is such a wonderful person on and off of the track,” said Brianne Cronrath. “I hope we can continue to transition smoothly and get some good finishes under our belt.”

Cronrath will pilot the No. 54 National Guard car at Motor Mile Speedway and Caraway Speedway in Sophia, North Carolina for the remainder of the tracks’ NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series season.

“Morty [Buckles] will be sorely missed from our Late Model team,” said Lt Col Michael Jones, Deputy Chief, Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention. “It’s a great accomplishment for Morty and the entire Drive for Diversity program. This proves that the program works and is succeeding. Morty has been a very good spokesperson for the program and has attended many National Guard diversity events.”

When asked about Brianne Cronrath, Jones responded: “We’re optimistic that Brianne will bring a lot of energy and excitement to our line up. We are confident that she will be another great spokesperson to represent our courageous soldiers.”

Belnavis Racing Belnavis Racing was one of five teams to support the inaugural season of the Drive for Diversity(SM) program and has returned to continue their support in 2005. Belnavis Racing is owned by motorsports executive Sam Belnavis, chief diversity officer of Roush Racing and owner of the No. 50 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry and shared owner of the National Guard No. 16 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entry. Belnavis created Belnavis Racing to support the development of drivers from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

The Army National Guard The Army National Guard (ARNG) is one component of The Army (which consists of the Active Army, the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve). The Army National Guard is composed primarily of traditional Guardsmen — civilians who serve their country, state and community on a part-time basis (usually one weekend each month and two weeks during the summer.) Each state, territory and the District of Columbia has its own National Guard, as provided for by the Constitution of the United States. For more information, visit our website at http://www.1-800-go-guard.com/ .

Drive for Diversity (Access Marketing & Communications) Drive for Diversity(SM) is a diverse driver and crew member development program created and managed by Access Marketing & Communications, a Charlotte- based multicultural marketing firm founded in 2003 by The Radiate Group and Calhoun Enterprises. In 2005, the program will support seven drivers in the NDWS and one driver in the NASCAR Grand National Division and 12 crew members in the NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Grand National Division. Drive for Diversity(SM) is an initial step in a long-term solution to diversify NASCAR’s participant and audience base. For more information, see the program’s official website at http://www.drivefordiversity.com/ .

Source: Drive for Diversity