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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-16-2003, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Dodge diversity program killed

Bill Lester, the only African-American driver regularly competing in any of NASCAR's top three divisions, is out looking for a new ride. Lester has been driving on the Craftsman Truck Series in a #8 Dodge owned by Bobby Hamilton and sponsored through a diversity program funded by Dodge. But Dodge is dropping the diversity program and Hamilton isn't going to run the truck without a sponsor. Dodge spokesman Todd Goyer said the company started the diversity program three years ago with the hope that some other corporation would step in and pick up the program. That never happened, although in July, General Mills put Lester's picture on boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. "We started with a two-year program and extended it for a year," Goyer said. "But the bottom line is that we can't carry the flag alone." Lester has been Dodge's minority driver for the past two seasons and has shown promise. He runs best on superspeedways and won the pole at Charlotte earlier this year. He's 13th in points heading into Saturday's race at Martinsville and has an average start of 13th and an average finish of 18th (usually 36 or so drivers are in Craftsman fields). Goyer said the failure of Dodge's diversity program shouldn't be blamed on Lester. "Bill certainly represented us well," Goyer said. While Lester said he's unsure where he'll be racing next year, NASCAR officials are certain he'll be back behind the wheel of a competitive truck. "I feel confident that Bill Lester will be competing again next year," said NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter. Lester said he's appreciative of what Dodge's program did for him but disappointed that other companies didn't follow Dodge's lead. "Everybody talks about diversity but very few step up and put their money where their mouth is," he said. "It's unfortunate that Dodge is dropping this program, but you can't fault their position. No one else came forward."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-16-2003)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2003, 12:21 AM
 
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Re: Dodge diversity program killed

This is FANTASTIC news! :bigsmile:

Diversity is perversity...
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2003, 01:45 AM Thread Starter
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"What kind of 'performance' engine is the VTEC if it goes in a minivan? Have you ever seen a HEMI Caravan? I didn't think so; that's because the HEMI is a real performance engine, unlike the VTEC."


There was a HEMI minivan. Back in 84-85 they had a minivan with a 2.6 Hemi. I think it even had those "HEMI 2.6" badges on the side like the HEMI K-cars did.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-25-2003, 10:57 AM
 
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Wow, thanks for the info... I was not aware that a small HEMI made it in a minivan and a K-car no less. I was aware, however, that small HEMI's were made like the 215 HEMI (same displacement as our 3.5 liter engines). I've always joked with my buddies about a HEMI K-car, and now I'll have to find one. What I basically mean by that is that the VTEC goes in all sorts of Honda stuff, whereas the older HEMI (FirePower/FireDome - 426) and the new one (5.7 Liter 353 CID) don't just go in anything. I don't expect to ever see a 5.7 L HEMI Caravan... Basically Dodge has something special to reserve for their performance vehicles whereas Honda is using their stuff in their minivans. Now, if I could see or make a jet-powered Caravan for fun at the dragstrip, that would be cool...
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