WELCOME, N.C. – Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced today that NASCAR Drive for Diversity driver (#NASCARD4D) and NASCAR Next member Ryan Gifford will make his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Iowa Speedway in the No. 33 Menards/Rheem Chevrolet.
With backing from the third-largest home improvement store in the United States, the 23-year-old driver is set to compete in his first-career national series event at the Newton, Iowa, track on Aug. 3. Gifford is in his fourth full season of competition in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he notched his first win at Richmond International Raceway earlier this year. Gifford also drives a late model on the dirt circuit for Team Dillon Racing (TDR).
“I’m thrilled that Menards and RCR are giving me the chance to race in my first Nationwide Series event,” said Gifford. “Menards has done so much for young racers over the years and I’m proud to be able to represent them and their employees at Iowa Speedway. I can’t thank them enough for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to showcase my racing skills.”
Gifford became the first African-American in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East history to earn a pole position at the inaugural race at Martinsville Speedway in 2010. Last month at Iowa Speedway, the current Rev Racing driver was announced as a member of the 2013 NASCAR Next class, an industry initiative to help spotlight NASCAR’s rising stars.
The Winchester, Tenn., native started racing go-karts at age eight and competed in the World Karting Association from 2000-2004 before moving to dirt late models in 2005. It didn’t take long for Gifford to find success on dirt, earning three poles and four top-five finishes in his first season. Gifford made his debut for RCR in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 2009 competing in four events. Since then, he has earned one win, one pole award, 15 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes in just 48 starts.
“I have watched how hard Ryan has worked at the Team Dillon Racing shop and what he’s been doing on the track the past few years,” said Richard Childress, CEO and president of Richard Childress Racing. “He had some good finishes racing in the K&N Series races for RCR a few years ago. I watched him race and win dirt track races with TDR and I’ve always been impressed with a driver’s ability to race on dirt.
“This is a great opportunity for him to get in one of our Nationwide cars and be very competitive at Iowa. None of this would be possible if it wasn’t for Menards. We appreciate their support and involvement in having Ryan race in the No. 33 Chevrolet that weekend.”
-Richard Childress Racing PR