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Birth date: March 24, 1989
Hometown: Valrico, Fla.
Residence: Statesville, N.C.
Michael Cherry, 20, has been racing for the last six years. He started racing in the Street Stock Division at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa Bay, Fla., in 2004. Cherry finished the season seventh in the points standings and was recognized as the youngest driver, and first African-American, to compete at East Bay Raceway Park.
Cherry spent another season running Street Stocks at East Bay Raceway Park in 2005 where he scored three feature wins before moving into the Limited Late Model and Late Model Divisions at Hendry County Speedway in 2006. Cherry proved he was capable of winning races, and earned an invitation to the Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine in October 2006, his first asphalt test in a NASCAR K&N Pro Series car.
Cherry used this experience to vault himself to the next level for the 2007 season. He had a tremendous season, winning the Sportsman Division Championship. This success earned Cherry another invitation to the annual Drive for Diversity Testing & Evaluation Combine.
His performance at the Combine earned him a place on the Drive for Diversity roster for the 2008 season, marking his transition from dirt to asphalt. He returned to the program for a second year in 2009, racing late models at Greenville Pickens (S.C.) Speedway.
Cherry says that his hero is Wendell Scott, the first African American to win a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
When he’s not racing on asphalt, Cherry likes to return to the dirt every chance he gets, racing late models and dirt bikes.
• Competed in the Late Model division at Greenville Pickens Speedway in 2009 as a member of the D4D program; seven top fives and 19 top 10s in 21 races.
• Competed in Late Model division at Motor Mile Speedway as a member of the 2008 Drive for Diversity class; two top fives and 18 top 10s and earned rookie of the year honors.
• Won the Sportsman Division Championship at Hendry County Speedway in 2007; two Late Model wins and nine Limited Late Model wins, among 17 top fives and 19 top 10s in 19 starts.
• Competed at Hendry County Speedway in the Limited Late Model and Late Model divisions in 2006.
• Finished third in the 2005 Street Stock Division at Hendry County Speedway; scored three feature wins.
• Competed in BMX Motocross from 2000 to 2002; finished third in nation among Novice riders at the Presidents Cup.