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Nurturing Talent Beyond the Track

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Rod and CarolRod and Carol Wortham, a dynamic duo fueled by their unwavering passion for motorsports, have both helped to accelerate young racers on the track while also steering them toward a greater purpose. The Worthams’ journey transcends checkered flags and pit stops to a philanthropic platform that touches lives beyond the asphalt. A similar pathway can be facilitated beyond the greens.

Race Face Brand Development: Nurturing Talent Beyond the Track

In a racing world dominated by driver development programs, Rod Wortham has taken a different path. His mission? To develop not just drivers, but brands. It might sound highfalutin, but branding is often the pivotal factor that determines whether a young racer can break into the highest echelons of a sport that is becoming more and more pay-to-play. Talent alone isn’t enough; it’s having the ability to forge relationships, connect with partners, and cultivate a following that truly propels a career. All of these are qualities NEDvocates possess.

Wortham’s company, Race Face Brand Development, emerged as a beacon for aspiring racers. Over the past seven years, the agency has worked to teach young racers a unique blend of skills essential for success: media training, social media engagement, career mapping, and marketing. In the present-day racing landscape, it marks a delicate balance — 40% on-track skills compared to 60% off-track prowess. Building a fan base, attracting sponsors, and creating a program around talent are the cornerstones of Wortham’s philosophy.

Race Car

Inspiration from Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Wortham draws inspiration from the legendary Dale Earnhardt Jr., a Hall of Fame driver who masterfully built a following that transcended ordinary racing fandom. Earnhardt’s personality magnetized people; everyone wanted to be part of his journey. While his late father’s legacy did play a role, Earnhardt’s own hard work and charisma were equally vital. Wortham’s goal is to help instill the same instincts in his drivers: the ability to grow a fan base while introducing them to corporate partners. It’s a delicate dance that works to extend a driver’s longevity behind the wheel.

From Late Models to NASCAR: The Race Face Success Stories

One shining example of Wortham’s approach is Anthony Alfredo. Starting as a driver development project in Late Model Stock Cars with Earnhardt’s JR Motorsports team, Alfredo’s journey grew even further with Wortham’s guidance. Beyond engineering and race craft, Wortham worked with Alfredo to refine his ability to connect with potential partners. As that work continued, marketing decks, website design, and sponsorship relations slowly became second nature. While there’s no way to quantify the impact that Wortham’s mentorship has had on Alfredo’s now-fulltime NASCAR career, the qualities and tools Alfredo learned through his time with Race Face Brand Development became vital skills for success.

But the Race Face impact extends further. Sheldon Creed, the 2020 NASCAR Truck Series champion who now races the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn car, is also a rising star in the Xfinity Series that credits tools learned through Race Face to his growth in motorsports. Both Creed and Texas racer Kaden Honeycutt, a current rising star in the Truck Series, are among the current crop of young drivers now racing at the national level who grew their skill sets through Wortham’s guidance. It all began with Jesse Love, last year’s champion in the stepping-stone ARCA Menards Series, who learned how to handle interviews at just 12 years old while racing in front of TV audiences.

Las Vegas Speedway

Friends of Jaclyn: Racing Hearts, Healing Lives

Beyond the roar of engines, the Worthams have embraced our mission. Friends of Jaclyn (FOJ) stands as a testament to the duo’s efforts to give back. FOJ’s mission is clear: improve the quality of life for children battling pediatric cancer. Through personal connections, they pair these brave young warriors with sports teams, creating bonds that transcend illness. The track becomes a backdrop for hope, resilience, and joy. The same can be duplicated on the golf course with just a little passion for youth golfers.
Speed City

A Legacy Beyond Laps

Rod and Carol Wortham’s impact on the racing scene isn’t measured in lap times or trophies. It’s etched in the lives they’ve touched, the smiles they’ve ignited, and the philanthropic ripples they’ve helped to set in motion. As engines roar and tires screech, they work to guide the next generation of racers toward excellence — both on the track and in the hearts of those they serve. The checkered flag is just the beginning; the real victory lies in making a difference, one lap at a time. Carol and Rod epitomize how a NEDvocate can literally change lives.

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