Hinds & Thompson Chosen As KDDP Semi-Finalists

Thompson Hinds

Grant Thompson (left) and Cassidy Hinds (right) were selected as Kulwicki Driver Development Program semifinalists. (RFBD photos)

CONCORD, N.C. – Race Face Brand Development drivers Cassidy Hinds and Grant Thompson have been selected as semifinalists for the 2024 class of the Kulwicki Driver Development Program.

Hinds and Thompson are two of the 15 semifinalists who will interview from Feb. 27-29 for the opportunity to be chosen as one of seven finalists that will battle for the esteemed Kulwicki Cup.

Drivers selected as KDDP finalists receive an operational stipend of $7,777, with the Kulwicki Cup champion receiving an award of seven times that amount – $54,439.

Hinds, a 20-year-old racer from Arvada, Colo., was the first female driver to win at Colorado National Speedway in a Pro Truck and also was the first female driver to win for Naake-Klauer Motorsports in a pro late model.

She plans to regularly race in super late model competition this year at Colorado National, and recently competed in the Chilly Willy 150 weekend at Tucson (Ariz.) Speedway in January.

“After reaching the semifinal round last year but not quite reaching the finals, this year we decided we were going to give it another shot at being able to represent the KDDP,” Hinds said. “It’s an honor to reach the semifinals again. To be able to get to the interview process and be able to connect with everybody with the KDDP is a huge step and I can’t wait to see what we’re able to do with it.

“So many people in racing know who Alan Kulwicki was and what he meant to the sport, so to have my name associated with the program is something I don’t take lightly.”

Thompson is an 18-year-old from Mobile, Ala., who picked up his biggest career accomplishment to date when he won the Pro Truck portion of the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in December of 2020.

He plans to run select pro late model races at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway, Five Flags, and his home track of Mobile (Ala.) Int’l Speedway throughout the year, as well as limited schedules in the zMAX CARS Pro Late Model Tour and zMAX CARS Pro Late Model Tour West.

“This is really cool for me. I’ve been watching the program and how it has played out for years, and I have friends who have won it and have been a part of it,” noted Thompson. “It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to be a part of and it’s a blessing to have the opportunity to make it this far this year. I’m not sure that I would have been ready to do it the past few years, just because I haven’t been racing as much, but I have more of an understanding now of what it means to be a part of the KDDP and what Alan Kulwicki did as a driver that allowed him to reach the level that he was at.

“Alan’s drive, determination and persistence is what the program is all about. Those were some of the values he stood for during his career,” Thompson added. “I’m excited to be a part of the program and let people know what it stands for, and we’re looking forward to seeing how far it goes.”

This is Hinds’ second straight year being selected as a semi-finalist, while Thompson reaches the semi-final stage for the first time in his career.

Past Kulwicki Cup champions include Ty Majeski (2015), Alex Prunty (2016), Cody Haskins (2017), Brett Yackey (2018), Jeremy Doss (2019), Luke Fenhaus (2021), Dylan Zampa (2022) and Max Cookson (2023).

For more information, visit kulwickiddp.com or KDDP media partner Racing America.

About Race Face Brand Development

Race Face Brand Development is a full-service branding and development program servicing young racecar drivers between the ages of 5 and 25, who have dreams and goals of reaching the top levels in racing. The Race Face team has more than six decades of combined experience and successes in driver coaching, media, marketing, and branding.

The company is located in New Port Richey, Fla., with representatives in the Charlotte, N.C., market. For more information, visit www.racefacebranddevelopment.com.

About the Kulwicki Driver Development Program

The Kulwicki Driver Development Program (KDDP) was established in 2014 by the family of late NASCAR champion and Hall of Fame member Alan Kulwicki for the purpose of helping worthy drivers toward reaching their dreams while at the same time keeping Alan’s memory and legacy alive.

The KDDP provides drivers with financial assistance, along with support in publicity, marketing, sponsorship development, industry networking and relationship building.

Based in Concord, N.C., the KDDP is a non-profit organization with the mission of playing a significant role in developing the next era of America’s short-track racers while educating new generations about the life, passion and values of the 1992 NASCAR Cup Series champion.

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