NASCAR receives Diversity and Inclusion Award

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I believe “diversity” is an old, old wooden ship … sorry, my mind wandered there for a second when I saw the word “diversity” used in a racing press release, and a non-Anchorman context.

In a serious and rather good note for NASCAR, the sanctioning body was awarded the 2013 Diversity and Inclusion Award at a ceremony at the New York Times building in New York City, for NASCAR’s efforts fostering diversity.

The “Drive for Diversity” program has had its most successful year in 2013 with Kyle Larson, who’s Asian-American, capturing the NASCAR Nationwide Series rookie-of-the-year honors. Additionally, Darrell Wallace Jr. became the first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race in 50 years when he won his first Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville last month.

“Early in the last decade NASCAR made a commitment to broadening the appeal of our sport by recruiting and developing dynamic new talent on the race track and throughout our sport. As a result, we are enhancing the fan experience for NASCAR fans everywhere,” Marcus Jadotte, NASCAR vice president of public affairs and multicultural development, said in a release. “We take great pride in being recognized during the 2013 DANDI Awards for our ongoing efforts.”

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”