The Frontstretch: Tracking the Trucks: Sponsorships by Beth Lunkenheimer -- Thursday February 15, 2007

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Tracking the Trucks: Sponsorships

Beth Lunkenheimer · Thursday February 15, 2007


Since the season hasn’t even started yet, I struggled trying to come up with a topic to talk about this week. My husband brought up a good point, though. The Craftsman Truck Series race at Daytona this year is called the Chevrolet Silverado 250, yet Chevrolet has never visited Daytona’s victory lane in a truck series race. Ironically, Daytona is one of just two tracks on the schedule where Chevrolet has yet to earn a victory (Talladega, where Mark Martin’s Ford won the inaugural truck race in 2006, is the other).

Of course, that got me wondering if Toyota had ever won a truck series race at Daytona; and they haven’t. In fact, only Ford and Dodge have won at Daytona in the previous seven years the truck series has raced there; four wins for Ford and three for Dodge.

So why would a manufacturer want to sponsor a race that they’ve never won? There’s an easy answer to that question — money. Now I’m sure it’s a lot less shallow than it sounds. For five consecutive years, the season opener at Daytona International Speedway was call the Florida Dodge Dealers 250. Finally, Chevrolet is going to get their name mentioned about a million times during the race broadcast.

Or I could be all wrong about the money aspect of it. Maybe it’s an attempt at having a good luck charm. All three of Dodge’s Daytona victories were during races they sponsored (2001, 2002, and 2005). We could also use Toyota as an example, though not with Daytona. For three years, Toyota has sponsored the August race at Nashville Superspeedway and they’ve won two of the last three races. In their second race as a sponsor, Toyota got their first ever win at The Milwaukee Mile.

Maybe the good luck will find them this year and Chevrolet will finally see one of their trucks in victory lane at Daytona.

Fun Facts About the Truck Series at Daytona:

*There has never been a repeat winner

*The race has been won from the pole twice (2001 by Joe Ruttman and 2006 by Mark Martin)

*The race has been won from a starting position outside the Top 10 just once (Bobby Hamilton won in 2005 from 36th; the same year he led just one lap)

*For the inaugural race, less than half the field finished the race (13 trucks)

*The race has never been completed with all trucks running

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