Richard Childress is known as an innovator and a team owner who likes to give breaks, especially to young drivers.
Childress accomplished both Wednesday when it was announced that two female drivers have been named to RCR’s driver development program.
Kate Dallenbach and Ahnna Parkhurst will race under the RCR and Team Dillon Racing banners in 2015.
Dallenbach, 17, is the daughter of driver-turned-broadcaster Wally Dallenbach Jr., and Robin McCall Dallenbach, a former driver herself with two starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Kate’s grandfather, Wally Dallenbach, was a longtime Indy car driver and chief steward for the former CART series.
Dallenbach will compete in dirt and asphalt races this season.
“Some RCR and TDR members and I have been watching Kate for several years and have been impressed with her driving ability,” Childress said in a release. “She is a quality driver in races and the results from her testing dirt Late Models have been very positive.
“I look forward to what the future holds for Kate, and we will do all we can to help her succeed.”
Dallenbach has been racing since she was 8 in quarter midgets and has progressed to win several local and regional championships in Texas, North Carolina and Florida.
This season, Dallenbach will compete in 20 races for Lee Faulk Racing and 10 others on dirt for RCR/TDR at Boyd Speedway in Georgia.
“I am honored and looking forward to being a larger part of RCR’s Driver Development Program this year,” Dallenbach said. “As a driver, I’m looking forward to improving my racing skills and winning some dirt and asphalt races. I hope to start testing Trucks in the future, as well.”
Parkhurst, 14, is an Augusta, Ga., native entering her second season of competitive racing. She will race in the dirt Crate Late Models for RCR/TDR.
“Ahnna has an incredible natural talent and absorbs everything she can to become a better driver every time she races,” Childress said. “Everything I have seen and heard about her racing has been positive. She is going to learn and improve even more this year on the dirt tracks and I look forward to watching that progress.”
In 42 Mini Outlaws races in 2014, Parkhurst won 13 and finished runner-up 12 times at Millbridge (N.C.) Speedway. Her schedule is planned for 40 races, split between Boyd (Ga.) Speedway, Swainsboro (Ga.) Speedway and Modoc (S.C.) Speedway.
“I raced just about every other Wednesday night from March until November of last year,” Parkhurst said. “RCR and TDR said they are going to give me their best effort to be competitive and try and win races. It’s up to me to give them my best efforts in return.”
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