I bet those NAPCAR “Drive for Diversity” folks are feeling really proud today.
First, congratulations to former Indy 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya, who recorded his first Cup victory yesterday at Sonoma. Yes, I know, a former Formula One driver won on a road course – shocker! But being just about the only “ferriner” in the series and the only one who is not pigmentally challenged (unless of course Bill Lester happens to get a ride), Pablo is likely to get a whole lot of play out of this. LOOK – the tin tops have DI-VER-SI-TY! Soon they may have (gasp!) women driving as well. Not.
Wait, it gets better. The poster boy for “Drive for Diversity” has become Aric Almirola, a 23-year-old from Tampa of Cuban descent. Almirola has several Top 10 finishes in about 10 races this year in the Busch Series, and this weekend he was given a chance to compete at a race at THE Milwaukee Mile when teammate Denny Hamlin was delayed because he couldn’t find a helipad to land near the track. I hate when that happens.
So Almirola goes out, won the pole, and led 43 of 57 laps...until the team told Aric to pull over and let the tardy Hamlin drive the car. It’s true – the sponsor (Rockwell Automation) apparently wanted Hamlin in the car. So Hamlin went on to win, but he received no credit or cash for the victory. He also didn’t receive congratulations from Almirola, who left the track in a huff and hasn’t spoken to team officials since.
And they wonder why that series has such a redneck image.
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