Avila’s ‘Drive for Diversity’ gets a kick-start at Daytona

TOLEDO, Ohio (January 27, 2016) – Jairo Avila is one of a handful of drivers selected to participate in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program in 2016. What started out as a pool of hundreds was narrowed to a field of 20. From there, just five would get the call to compete.

For Avila, it means campaigning a full season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East tour for Rev Racing. The K&N East Series season opener at New Smyrna Speedway is the day after the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season opener at Daytona.

“That’s going to be a fun weekend,” Avila said. “I’m going to be doing double duty.”

In other words, the world is about to get extremely busy for the 20-year-old Alhambra, California driver.Jairo Avila carshot Daytona Test 2016

“I’m moving out to Charlotte this week so I can be at the shop for Rev Racing and Lira Motorsports.”

Avila made two ARCA starts for Lira Motorsports in 2015, finishing a career-best 10th in the Kansas Speedway finale. He also finished 16th in his ARCA debut at Pocono Raceway last August.

Avila also participated in the recent ARCA open test at Daytona, just to get his superspeedway feet wet in time to compete in ARCA’s season-opening Lucas Oil 200 Saturday, February 13.

“We were good in the draft. If I struggled anywhere it was that the car wouldn’t draft up close enough. We’ll try some new stuff based on what we learned and go back for the race. I learned that in the ARCA car, you really have to keep your momentum up, especially at Daytona.

“It was a lot of fun. It was my first time on a track like that. We were fast. Lira Motorsports is an amazing group of people…really good people. Carlos Lira (team owner) keeps everyone pumped up.”

Avila’s parents are native-born to Colombia (South America) and migrated to the U.S. in the 1980s. Avila was born in 1995, and like his parents, speaks fluent Spanish.

“The Drive for Diversity program is a great program. It’s quite a process to get through it. They look at a lot of different things…they look at your resume…they look at your physical condition…how well you deal with the media…and that’s all before they take you to your first test at the track, at Langley Speedway.

“I’m going to be driving full-time for Rev Racing in the K&N East Series. I hope to be able to run as many ARCA races as I can too, but the K&N Series for sure. I’m excited.”

The 53rd annual Lucas Oil 200 at Daytona is live on FS1 Saturday, February 13 and precedes NASCAR’s same-night Sprint Unlimited. The ARCA Racing Series takes to the track for practice Thursday from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. Menards Pole Qualifying presented by Ansell is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday following final practice Friday morning (9:30 – 10:30 a.m.). ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat for all on-track activities.

Don Radebaugh, dradebaugh@arcaracing.com

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