DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Two former college football players celebrated in victory lane after the season-opening ARCA race Saturday.

Former Kansas defensive lineman Kapil Fletcher and former Appalachian State linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough were part of Austin Theriault's winning pit crew. It was their first race since graduating from NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Crew Member Development program.

Fletcher, a Fort Lauderdale native, started seven games for the Jayhawks as a senior in 2015.

Kapil Fletcher (90) during his college days at Kansas. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Kimbrough was a three-year starter for Appalachian State and one of the team's top tacklers in 2011 and 2012. The Decatur, Georgia, native signed with the NFL's Washington Redskins as an undrafted rookie in 2013 but didn't make the team.

Jeremy Kimbrough (47) during his days with the Redskins. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Daniel Sangjib Min)

Fletcher and Kimbrough found their way to NASCAR last year.

NASCAR and Rev Racing hosted crew member tryouts at six universities across the country in 2016. Eighteen men and women from 12 states and one U.S. territory were selected to compete in the national combine in Concord, North Carolina. Half of those earned invitations to join the D4D pit crew program, including Kimbrough and Fletcher.

NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, under the leadership of Rev Racing, supports both crew member and driver development opportunities. Driver graduates include Kyle Larson, Cup Series rookie Daniel Suarez and Xfinity Series driver Darrell Wallace Jr.


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