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March 5, 2009

Nationwide Insurance
Lisa Cox
(614) 677-2296 office
(336) 682-8488 cell


Promising Driver to Represent Nationwide as He Takes His Racing Career to the Next Level

Michael Cherry, Blair Addis, Max Siegel and Carlo White Nationwide D4D Driver Michael Cherry

Greenville, SC ( - Nationwide Mutual Insurance, in partnership with local Nationwide Insurance agent Carlo White announced this week that it will sponsor NASCAR Whelen All-American Series driver, Michael Cherry. The promising 19-year old driver has been chosen to represent Nationwide Insurance in conjunction with NASCAR's "Drive for Diversity" initiative, which is further diversifying the sport by providing opportunities to minority and female competitors.

"It's an honor to support Michael Cherry as he works his way up in NASCAR," said Carlo White, a Nationwide Insurance agent based in Greenville who is leading the partnership. "This sponsorship is a great opportunity for Nationwide to support diversity in racing, and that's something that is very important to us. Michael is a very promising young racer and will be a great representative of the Nationwide Insurance brand."

Entering its sixth season, Drive for Diversity is NASCAR's leading on-track diversity initiative. The program is designed to give young minority and female drivers the opportunity to compete with established NASCAR teams at the grassroots level. Since the creation of Drive for Diversity in 2004, 22 drivers have competed, winning 28 races.

"We're pleased to see Michael, and promising young drivers like him, earn the opportunity to take their racing careers to the next level," said Max Siegel, CEO of The 909 Group which manages the Drive for Diversity. "The goal of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity initiative is to create meaningful opportunities for a wide range of drivers to compete in NASCAR. Nationwide Insurance will be a great partner for Michael because they have a proud tradition of supporting NASCAR and diversity in general."

Cherry, from Valrico, Florida, will race for Addis Motorsports at Greenville-Pickens (S.C.) Speedway. The 2009 season will mark Cherry's second year as a member of the Drive for Diversity initiative. He was rookie of the year in 2008 at Motor Mile Speedway in the Late Model division and finished fourth in the point standings.

"It's truly an honor represent Nationwide Insurance," said Cherry. "The addition of their sponsorship to our Addis team and the Drive for Diversity initiative really makes this an unbelievable opportunity for me. I definitely plan to make the most of it."

Nationwide is the official auto, home and life insurance partner of NASCAR, and is proud to be the title sponsor of the NASCAR Nationwide Series(TM). The Nationwide Series is NASCAR's second most popular racing series, enjoying the support of 75 million fans, including 2.7 million who annual attend NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Drive for Diversity
The Drive for Diversity program, run by The 909 Group and supported by NASCAR, seeks to develop minority and female drivers and crew members. The program supports drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. Selected drivers are invited to participate in the annual Testing & Evaluation Combine and earn the opportunity to compete with an established NASCAR team for a full season. Drive for Diversity also supports crew member trainees each year. Upon successful completion of their training, crew member trainees have the opportunity to compete with a NASCAR Camping World Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, or NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team.

About Nationwide
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, as well as motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit

Nationwide, Nationwide Insurance, and the Nationwide Framemark are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

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