Winchester, Tennessee native looking to make mark in NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WVLT) -- Ryan Gifford isn't your everyday household NASCAR name.

But then Ryan Gifford isn't your everyday NASCAR driver.

He competes in NASCAR thanks to the sports DRIVE FOR DIVERSITY program. He's currently driving in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East class.

"There's a lot of really good race car drivers out there no matter what ethnicity you are that don't have the opportunity because they can't afford it," Gifford told Local 8 Sports.

And Ryan has taken advantage of his. Gifford was named one of the NASCAR drivers 25 and under to watch in 2013 by

And it's his racing he prefers people to focus on, not his race.

"I just see myself as another driver out there trying to win races. The steering wheel definitely doesn't know who's holding it, whether you're a guy or a girl or what ethnicity you are. It's really special to do this and I'm just thankful to NASCAR."

Naturally, Ryan hopes to work his way up the NASCAR circuits and make a name for himself and make his small southern hometown proud. If that happened, he wouldn't be the first celebrity in his hometown....not when you're from Winchester, Tennessee.

".You tell people where you're from and they're like, 'isn't that where Phillip Fulmer's from?' and things like that so that's cool."

Winchester has seen one of its sons become a champion.

Perhaps Ryan Gifford will be the next.

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