A multi-year participant in NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, 21 year old Sergio Peña has set a high bar for himself in the K&N Pro Series East this year. In fact, the first generation Colombian American from Virginia, along with his Rev Racing team, intends to be the champion.
“I definitely have my goals set high this year,” Peña said. “This is my fourth full-time season in the K&N Pro Series East and I want to go out and win as many races as I can and hopefully the championship.”
Peña already has three career K&N Pro Series East wins under his belt, as well as a pair of top-10 finishes in the point standings and 19 top-10 finishes in 39 East starts. But he yearns for the big prize in 2014, just like one of his racing idols and former Rev Racing driver Kyle Larson.
“I know Rev Racing is capable of doing it because they’ve done it with Kyle Larson,” Peña said. “They’ve had strong programs every year.”
“Any up and coming driver right now wants to imitate what Kyle Larson is doing,” Peña continued. “He’s kind of set the standard.”
“So to be doing it with the same team that he had and his same group of guys is exciting,” Peña said. “Everyone works together and it’s a big family here at Rev Racing so I’m excited to be a part of it and hopefully I can follow in his footsteps for sure.”
Although Peña is excited about working with his Rev Racing team, he admits that they are a totally new group and he and his team have much to learn about one another.
“I’ve got a whole new group this year so that will be interesting to get to know everyone,” Peña said. “I’ve been in the shop a few times and got to meet my crew chief, car chief, and a couple of the guys who will be working on the car.”
“I’ll have to get to know those new faces as quickly as possible so that we can click as a group,” Peña continued. “If you don’t have a good relationship with your guys, it just doesn’t work out very well.”
“So, I’ve been in the shop and we’re getting along great,” Peña said. “I’m excited to get going here and do some racing.”
Many, including East Series Director Kip Childress, have described Peña as a very calculating, very precise racer. So, how does Peña prepare himself for the 2014 season?
“I go to the gym every single day,” Peña said. “That’s something that I’ve been doing since high school.”
“I’m really into sports and I play basketball almost every day too,” Peña continued. “Staying physically fit is something that I stay on stop of a lot.”
Peña is also very exacting as far as his mental approach to the sport. And for this up and coming driver, it is all about maintaining his focus.
“I would say this is more of a mental sport than any sport there is,” Peña said. “When you’re driving on the edge at one hundred plus miles per hour, you definitely need to be focused.”
“It’s something that you train yourself over the years from when you first start racing,” Peña continued. “You learn how to focus, how to stay focused in those longer races, and throughout the years, I’ve just learned how to stay focused.”
While Peña is focused on winning the K&N Pro Series East championship, he also has his eye on another prize, that of moving up to the next level in the sport.
“I definitely have a relationship with several Truck Series and Nationwide teams,” Peña said. “As we all know, a lot in this sport is about funding. It’s hard to find sponsorship to do that so I definitely want to leave many doors open as I can to find some rides like that.”
While Peña has been competing since he was four years old, when his father bought him a dirt bike, he credits his success in NASCAR to date to the Drive for Diversity program.
“My involvement with the Drive for Diversity program has definitely helped me,” Peña said. “NASCAR is trying to get more diverse and this program is proven to work very well.”
“I believe that being a part of this program is definitely helping factor into my success,” Peña continued. “In fact, it can be the deciding factor in not only NASCAR since the whole entire country is trying to diversify in every angle.”
“It’s an awesome opportunity to be a part of and I’m really thankful that I’m selected again to participate,” Peña said. “I’m ready to help them spread diversity through the sport.”
“And I’m definitely ready to win that championship.”