WELLESLEY, MA — After a nationwide search four youth drivers have been tabbed to be participants in the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Driver Development Program and one of them hails from Wellesley Massachusetts.
Blake Lothian is a student at Wellesley High School and one of the best young drivers in the country. He is World Formula Kart driver who has been selected for the program after NASCAR and Rev Racing hosted a youth driver combine at GoPro Motorplex in Mooresville, N.C., in March.
Now Lothian gets a chance to drive a Legends Race Car and be mentored by a professional NASCAR coach while he lives and trains this summer in Charlotte.
Lothian – along with the 3 other drivers selected for the program – will compete in the Legends INEX Bojangles Summer Shootout which could pave the way for entering the adult driver development program and eventually, the NASCAR cup series.
“We were very impressed with what we saw from these drivers at the combine in March,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR director, racing operations and event management. “Each driver demonstrated strong potential and we believe will be successful in racing. The four selected stood out based on their abilities both on and off the track, have great experience and left quite the positive impression on our evaluators.”
As the name suggests the Drive for Diversity program is designed to encourage minority drivers to pursue the sport. Lothian credits programs like this for increasing diversity.
Lothian says there’s been steady growth in diversity in NASCAR thanks to programs like this.
“In my own karting experience we have also seen some increases in diversity, but there is always room for more growth,” Lothian said in a recent local interview. “In all my karting seasons I have always raced with between one and three other minority drivers in my kart class.”
And while many wouldn’t think a kid from Wellesley could even discover the sport let alone be one of the best in the country, Lothian says he kind of always knew racing was his thing.
“I did baseball, I did soccer, I did some other sports,” Lothian told NPR in an interview last year. “I wasn’t very good at them, but I tried ’em. And all of a sudden racing came up and I was like, ‘oooh, I’m good at this, this is good.’ I just have good hand-eye coordination. I know what trajectory to turn the wheel to make sure the kart settles itself in, what to do if the back end kicks out a little bit, what to do to still make the turn so I can make a pass on a straightaway. I think I was just born with it.”