JR Motorsports and GMS Racing have launched a new driver development program, branding it as “Drivers Edge Development.”
The initiative, which was brought together with the help of Chevrolet, aims to establish an official program to provide on and off-track education for up-and-coming racecar drivers.
— Drivers Edge Development (@DriversEdgeDev) January 24, 2019
“We have always prided ourselves on being a stepping stone for drivers that want to get to the top level of racing,” Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of JR Motorsports, said in a press release. “JR Motorsports was designed with that in mind, and now with the help of GMS and Chevrolet, Drivers Edge Development will provide a clear-cut path and more options for drivers to get there.”
Noah Gragson and John Hunter Nemechek will lead the new program, piloting Xfinity Series cars for JRM and GMS, respectively, in 2019. Zane Smith, Sheldon Creed, Sam Mayer and Adam Lemke will each be included in the program as well.
The drivers involved will be sent to numerous programs, training them physically, mentally and technically as they work their way through the NASCAR rankings.
.@JRMotorsports & @gmsracingllc are teaming up to launch @DriversEdgeDev. The program is set to help shape the development & skills of young drivers both on & off the track. #NASCARHALL #racing pic.twitter.com/K4vrjZlv04
— NASCAR Hall of Fame (@NASCARHall) January 24, 2019
“We couldn’t be more pleased to get this program off the ground,” Mike Beam, president of GMS Racing, said. “Between GMS and JRM, I feel our two programs are very complementary of each other and will give Drivers Edge Development participants multiple series options.”
The program also hopes to keep drivers with Chevrolet for the long haul.
“We’re emphasizing on-track experience in multiple series while still keeping the drivers under the Chevrolet umbrella,” Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports, said. “Off track, we’re going to offer these drivers decades of industry knowledge and best practices with the goal of helping them become the best versions of themselves in all aspects of the sport.”
This new program will allow drivers to work their way up the ladder, while staying with Chevrolet, from late models to the upper divisions of NASCAR.