Fisher announced in January that she will participate in the Drive for Diversity program for the 2005 season, driving with the Bill McAnally Racing/Richard Childress Racing Development Program in the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series.
“The Drive for Diversity program gives talented drivers and crew members an opportunity to prove themselves as members of the NASCAR community,” says Fisher. “Above and beyond this, I am very excited to begin my stock car racing career with a West Coast-based team the caliber of Bill McAnally Racing is and be in association with Richard Childress Racing.
“It’s an indescribable opportunity for me as a driver.”
Fisher, 23, will pilot the No. 20 BMR/RCR Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the NASCAR West Series. Aside from NASCAR, Fisher has competed in four seasons of Indy Racing League competition, earning Most Popular Driver honors three seasons in a row.
In 1999, after winning five features in the midget car series, she joined the IRL. By 2000 she was driving for open-wheel veteran Derrick Walker’s IRL IndyCar Series team, and she ran eight races in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series.
In May 2000, she became just the third woman and one of the youngest drivers ever to compete in the Indy 500. Later in the season Fisher made history yet again at Kentucky Speedway, becoming the youngest person to lead laps during an IRL IndyCar event and the youngest woman to ever stand on a podium with her third-place finish in that event.
In 2001, Fisher logged a second-place finish at the IRL’s inaugural race at Homestead Miami Speedway – the best finish ever by a women in Indycar action.
“When the Drive for Diversity program started, I thought right off that Bill would be someone great to work with because of the first-class operation he has,” says Richard Childress, president and CEO of RCR. “We worked together in the past with Clint Bowyer and Kerry Earnhardt, so we decided to run Sarah in a race in Phoenix last year to see if that was a direction we wanted to go.
“[The]feedback was that she has a lot of potential in a stock car. I have a lot of hopes on her doing well, and we might run her in some Busch races this year.”
“It’s great to be a part of the Drive for Diversity Program and be in partnership in this endeavor with Richard Childress Racing ,” says Bill McAnally, owner of Bill McAnally Racing. “Sarah Fisher is an incredible talent and brings a lot to both our race program at BMR but also the NASCAR Grand National Division West Series. We look forward to a very successful race season.”
Joining Fisher on the McAnally and Childress team will be another woman, NASCAR driver Allison Duncan, who is participating in the diversity program for a second season, in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series (NDWS).
With a top-five finish in the Hickory Motor Speedway year-end points standings in 2004, Duncan will drive the No. 20 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in NDWS events at Stockton 99 Speedway in Stockton, Calif.
“It’s every driver’s dream. I’m excited about the upcoming season and plan on winning the championship at the Stockton 99 Speedway,” Duncan says.