Penske Corporation and Shell confirmed a multi-year extension [thru at least 2015] of their ongoing alliance in North America. As part of the agreement, Shell and Pennzoil will continue sponsoring Penske Racing entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the IZOD IndyCar Series as well as continue to be the preferred supplier of fuels, lubricants and related products to the Penske organization. As part of the agreement, Pennzoil will continue to be the “Official Motor Oil” of Penske Racing. Shell and Pennzoil will continue to be the primary sponsor of the Penske Racing #22 car for 33 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Proven race-winning driver Joey Logano joins the team this season racing the distinctive Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion beginning in 2013.
Oregon-based Reser’s Fine Foods signed a one-year agreement with Joe Gibbs Racing, making it an associate sponsor of the team’s No. 18 Nationwide Series entry driven by Matt Kenseth. The deal, which was announced today, also makes Reser’s the primary sponsor for five Nationwide Series races (Phoenix, Texas, Charlotte, Richmond and Kansas).
The company’s execs hope the deal helps them expand distribution of its prepared potato salad and raise its brand awareness across the Southeast and Midwest, where it is less well known. Reser’s Exec VP/Sales & Marketing Peter Sirgy said, “Looking at the sport as a platform for creating additional brand awareness for our brand, there couldn’t be a more perfect fit. There are 100,000-plus fans at a race. They’re barbecuing. They’re grilling. Our prepared salad is a great complement to that.”
The company plans to promote the sponsorship by putting Kenseth cut-outs in stores and placing show cars at certain outlets. Sirgy said that Reser’s opted to sign a one-year deal and concentrate on the Nationwide Series because the sport is new to the company. He anticipates extending the deal after the company has had a chance to evaluate its results.
JGR President J.D. Gibbs said the team will be working to help Reser’s sell more potato salad at retail during the year in hopes of convincing the company to return in ’14. Gibbs added, “You have to show everybody. They’re not going to (sponsor the team) because they like to see cars race. There has to be a business reason. You have to say, ‘Here’s the value of NASCAR.’ That’s nothing new. What is new, is you have to show definitive results of their investment. When you can do that, it sure makes it easy to make future decisions. For us, that’s our job.”
NASCAR and HP today unveiled the new NASCAR Fan and Media Engagement Center presented by HP. This first-of-its-kind resource will enable NASCAR to better serve its industry, partners and fans through a cutting-edge technology platform that facilitates near real-time response and analytics of traditional, digital and social media.
NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France and HP Enterprise Services Vice President Charles Salameh were on hand to cut the ceremonial ribbon to officially open the center at NASCAR Plaza in Charlotte, N.C.
“The Fan and Media Engagement Center build has been a thorough process more than a year in the making, and we are excited to see it come to life,” France said. “We believe this tool has the potential to be the best of its kind in sports – the first ever to combine not only social, but also traditional and broadcast media analysis. We’ll be able to use this to help our industry and business partners and better connect with NASCAR fans across the world. It’s another example of our commitment to innovation.”
HP collaborated with NASCAR to design and build the Fan and Media Engagement Center. The center is a showpiece on the 8th floor of NASCAR Plaza, where NASCAR’s Digital team operates. Physical features of the FMEC include all-glass walls, a monitor bank of 13 47-inch HP displays, and the latest in touchscreen and AV technology. Behind the scenes, HP’s custom-developed technology and services, based on its Autonomy analytics solutions, is the engine that processes a massive amount of data into relevant, actionable insights.
“The FMEC is the culmination of a collaboration between NASCAR and HP,” said Salameh, vice president – Americas region, Communications, Media and Entertainment Industry, Enterprise Services, HP. “HP’s integrated solution not only benefits NASCAR’s complex ecosystem by allowing real-time data capture and analysis across a wide variety of media, traditional as well as digital, tailored to specific audiences within the industry.”
The FMEC will provide NASCAR the ability to monitor, analyze and better understand the current media landscape in order to respond more effectively and efficiently to fans and respond more rapidly to national, local and global media.
Measurement also will be a key function of the Fan and Media Engagement Center. Those capabilities will expand across qualitative and quantitative measurements, including tonality, volume, proximity and other coverage attributes in regular reports the FMEC will generate for its industry.
NASCAR® and Featherlite Trailers announced today that the Iowa-based company has agreed to extend its long-term partnership with NASCAR. The six-year extension ensures that Featherlite Trailers will be the Official Trailer of NASCAR through 2018. Entering its 13th year as an Official Partner, Featherlite Trailers built its first race car transporter for owner Richard Childress 20 years ago, dating its relationship with the sport back to 1993.
Currently, Featherlite Trailers plays a vital role in facilitating high-quality NASCAR race events each weekend. Ninety percent of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ teams rely on Featherlite transporters to move vital race equipment to every event. Additionally, approximately 10 transporters manufactured by Featherlite Trailers serve as official office and meeting spaces for NASCAR race officials and personnel each weekend across the country.
“Featherlite Trailers is pleased to extend our partnership with NASCAR,” said Terry Carlson, chief executive officer of Universal Trailer Holding Corp. “As a long-time NASCAR partner, Featherlite is committed to the sport and its fans, as well as providing world-class support and services to NASCAR and its race teams.”
In the second half of the 2012 NASCAR season, Featherlite Trailers introduced its newly redesigned custom “T1” NASCAR support and media trailer. The transporter, featuring larger and more efficient work spaces, is utilized by NASCAR broadcast partners at the track each weekend.
“The return of Featherlite Trailers benefits our entire industry, including our tracks, drivers, teams and partners,” said Jim O’Connell, NASCAR chief sales officer. “The extension of this 20-year relationship ensures that our sport will continue to have the most technologically advanced race transporters and meeting spaces, critical to facilitating high quality race events each weekend.”
Featherlite Trailers is a leading designer and manufacturer of aluminum trailers, including specialized 53-foot race car transporters and highly customized specialty trailers for virtually every business purpose. The company also manufactures car, recreation, utility, horse and livestock trailers. Featherlite is part of Universal Trailer Corporation’s family of brands.
January 4, 2013
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Underscoring the cooperative spirit of their merger announced last September, GRAND-AM Road Racing and the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron today unveiled the initial concept for the organizations’ unified competition class structure that will debut in January 2014 at the 52nd running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona.
The lineup – in effect for the 2014 and 2015 seasons – is based on a philosophy of inclusion. The majority of classes from both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the ALMS will be retained with the exception of the ALMS’ P1 prototype class.
Individual class names have yet to be determined. The planned structure:
- GRAND-AM’s DP and the ALMS’ P2 classes will combine into one, headlining prototype class that also will include the revolutionary DeltaWing prototype, with performance of the cars balanced to maintain close competition.
- The ALMS’ Prototype Challenge (PC) class for spec prototypes will continue to run as a separate class.
- Both of the organizations’ production-based GT classes will continue as separate, distinct categories based on performance, preserving each class’ proud history and loyal fan following. As part of this plan, the ALMS’ GTC cars will join the GRAND-AM GTs.
- GRAND-AM’s new GX class, which is debuting at this year’s Rolex 24 later this month, is being explored as a possible addition to the GRAND-AM half of the GT mix in 2014-15. There also is the possibility that GX will run separately as a fifth class.
Specifications for all classes still are being determined and will be announced later this year. In addition, there will be continued discussion regarding the increasing inclusion of green technologies in the new unified series.
“This is a ‘best of both worlds’ approach that reflects the fact we have a true merger evolving on a daily basis,” said GRAND-AM Managing Director of Competition Richard Buck.
“And this announcement is only a first step in solidifying our class structure. Our organizations’ respective competition departments are working diligently on balance of performance for the top prototype class, plus overall class specifications across the board.
“This process is not being rushed. We are carefully gathering input from drivers, teams and stakeholders throughout the sports car industry, emphasizing inclusion, as we work toward a simple – but also complex – goal: we want to get it right the first time.”
Added International Motor Sports Association and ALMS Chief Operating Officer Scot Elkins: “Numerous important partners and stakeholders have been invaluable during this process. We could not have reached these decisions as rapidly as we did without that assistance. Many factors were taken into consideration for this initial conceptual lineup, but the priority was to enable as many current competitors as possible to continue racing with their existing equipment.
“We also want to thank the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) for its input as we strive to maintain the important ability of teams to qualify for and race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.”
A call for mandatory caution periods has refueled an ongoing debate in NASCAR: How much manipulation is too much? Obviously, if the concept of multiple race stoppages are coming up, NASCAR might need to re-evaluate its on track product. Perhaps the race lengths, format and track styles need to be taken into consideration to keep the racing exciting and the fans engaged.
Jeff Gordon -
“I’d rather have that than some mysterious debris caution. The integrity of racing is about letting the race play out, and sometimes that’s the most exciting finish, sometimes it’s not. Trying to get in the middle of that can be challenging. If you’re going to do it, it’s got to be something planned in advance, and you take a break. I’m not totally against it.”
Carl Edwards -
“Auto racing is auto racing. That’s what it is. It’s not going to be a Game 7 moment in every race. That’s what makes some races great. If you start affecting the competition like that, it’s analogous to stopping a basketball game if the score gets too far apart and putting the score back at even. That, to me, is not what auto racing is about.”
Mike Helton -
“Our product on the track is exciting, and sports is a true reality show in how it unfolds as an event. You have to be careful when you think about artificially creating the outcome of that.”
Greg Biffle -
“I would not be against it if the races continue to run green the whole way with one or two cautions. I think over time that could lose the fans’ interest sitting in the stands and watching on TV. That’s not what we want.”
NASCAR occasionally calls “competition yellows” if officials deem a stoppage necessary to evaluate the cars, tires, track or other circumstances, however NASCAR said it had no plans to implement mandatory breaks at this time.
Due to popular demand, Grand-Am announced plans to add a third class to the Rolex series. The new “GX” class will join the Daytona Prototype (“DP”) and Grand Touring (“GT”) classes.
The plan is for the GX class to be production-based, but the rules will be structured to allow competitors bandwidth to explore a wide variety of alternative technologies and fuels.
For more, visit: www.Grand-Am.com
Motorsports videographer, John Shofner is looking to raise $40,000 of funding in order to create a full-length, in-depth documentary showcasing the kart racing world (titled Become One).
The intent of the film is to highlight everything from the family-centric aspect of the sport, to on-track action. Karting is where nearly every professional driver started their careers (and in most instances they continue to use karting as a training tool), however many racing fans know little or nothing about it. Shofner hopes his film will bring the sport to the forefront.
Below is a “teaser” clip of Become One.
If you’d like to support the film with a financial contribution (the pledge minimum is $1), follow the link below.
Kurt Busch’s verbal exchange with Sporting News writer Bob Pockrass has landed him in NASCAR’s crosshairs yet again (video below).
Here’s the good, bad and reality of this situation.
- The comment was aggressive, but it was NOT a threat.
- Busch, his sponsors (most notably Monster Energy) and NASCAR are getting a TON of coverage in the press.
- Busch is answering the fan’s call for drivers to show more emotion.
- NASCAR wants drivers to show more emotion, but only in small doses.
- Kurt has always been under the microscope – He’s already on probation, was recently let go from Penske and has pretty much been in trouble from the beginning…So NASCAR isn’t going to give him much bandwidth.
- KB is going to pay for this…My guess is that NASCAR will park him for the rest of the season. We’ll find out on Tuesday.
For the last two years the Sauber F1 Team mechanics have been using their downtime to slice a Formula One racing car lengthwise down the middle with the precision of true craftsmen. Chief Designer Matt Morris quite literally gets underneath the skin of the F1 car, pointing out where and how the individual components are located within the chassis. Everything is packed in pretty tightly. Sergio Pérez is also on hand to demonstrate the driver’s seating position.