For Immediate Release:
DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY® DRIVER JESUS HERNANDEZ CHARGES TO VICTORY
25-Year-0ld Earns First Win as a member of the Drive for Diversity Program and becomes the first ever Hispanic Driver to win at Hickory Motor Speedway
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 17, 2006) – Drive for Diversity® driver Jesus Hernandez captured his first NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series® victory Saturday night by winning the pole and leading the majority of the 100 lap feature held at the .363-mile Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. In victory, Jesus became the first ever Hispanic driver to visit victory lane in the 56-year history of the famed speedway.
The Fresno, Calif. native started from the pole, relinquished the lead on Lap 1 but charged to the front, bringing the MB2 Motorsports Waste Management® Chevrolet to the winner’s circle in only his 14th start of the year.
“I’m very thankful for the on-going support that Waste Management, and MB2 Motorsports have provided for me,” said Hernandez. “It is an awesome feeling to capture the first NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Model win for my sponsors and team and we’re definitely looking forward to more wins in 2006.”
The victory capped an eventful evening for Hernandez, as he battled all comers, including fellow Drive for Diversity driver Marc Davis in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Late Model event.
“We congratulate Jesus and the team on its first victory – they’ve worked hard for this accomplishment,” said Jay Frye, CEO and general manager of MB2 Motorsports. “The victory is a great boost to our developmental program, which is only going to get better because of the dedication and work ethic of both Jesus and the team.”
“There is nothing more thrilling than that first victory of
the season and especially when it is Jesus Hernandez”, said Carlton Yearwood,
Chief Ethics and Diversity Officer for Waste Management. “We have proudly
sponsored Jesus for two seasons in the Drive for Diversity Program. Jesus
has been a great representative on and off the track for Waste Management and
we are proud of this milestone.”
Steve Neff, Vice President for Strategic Business Development said, “I have continued to be very impressed with Jesus and his commitment to professional driving. From the stories of his early roots in racing, to his is seemly untiring efforts in the MB2 Motorsports shop working on everything from tire changing to car set-up, Jesus truly reflects a young man on a mission.
“Waste Management has nearly 25,000 professional drivers and Jesus represents the entire team. Jesus is one of four drivers sponsored by the 51,000 men and women of Waste Management. The others include Drive for Diversity third-year member Allison Duncan, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Bill Lester and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Sterling Marlin. On behalf of our entire Waste Management team, we congratulate Jesus on his first victory in 2006.”
Drive for Diversity® Driver Jesus Hernandez Charges to Victory Lane pg.2
Drive for Diversity® is an ethnic and gender minority driver and crew member development program that supports eight drivers in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and 12 crew members in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series during the 2006 season.
“Jesus’ resiliency and dedication should serve as inspiration to all drivers that dream of a career in NASCAR. Jesus epitomizes the hard-work and positive attitude that are necessary to make it to the next level,” said Bryan Kryder, program director of the Drive for Diversity® program.
About Waste Management Inc.
Waste Management, Inc. is its industry's leading provider of comprehensive waste management and environmental services. Based in Houston, the Company serves municipal, commercial, industrial, and residential customers throughout North America. WMI extends its diversity initiative through Team Waste Management, the company's own racing team, comprised of Sterling Marlin, Bill Lester, and two competitors in the industry's Drive for Diversity® program, Jesus Hernandez and Allison Duncan. For more information, visit www.wm.com.
Founded in 1996, MB2 Motorsports has fielded entries in more than 300 NASCAR Cup Series races. Based in Mooresville, NC, many legendary drivers have driven for the MB2 family, they include Ernie Irvan, Ken Schrader, Dick Trickle and currently Joe Nemechek and Sterling Marlin.
Drive for Diversity®
Drive for Diversity® is an ethnic and gender minority 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 2006, the program will support eight drivers in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and 12 crew members in the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Drive for Diversity® is an initial step in a long-term solution to diversify NASCAR’s participant and audience base. For more information, please visit www.drivefordiversity.com.
Jarian Kerekes, Access Marketing & Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 704-295-6342