Owner Points Scramble
Now that the gates to Daytona International Speedway’s garage are set to open in a mere couple of days, there is a mad scramble to lock teams into the Daytona 500 (and the four races immediately following it). A total of four teams (the No. 01, 15, 22, and 41) are not going to make it to Daytona this year, and teams are eager to acquire their owner points to avoid having to qualify on speed.
FoxSports.com reported on Tuesday that Bill Davis has acquired a minority ownership stake in Penske Racing. As part of the deal, Penske Racing holds the rights to the No. 22 for the time being. They do not plan on using the number as of now, but will hold on to it for “future considerations.” The deal gives the team the owner’s points from the No. 22 from last season (the No. 22 finished 31st in owners’ points). The plan is to give those points to the No. 77 of Sam Hornish, Jr., locking Hornish into the Daytona 500.
More shakeups are possible in the next couple of days. Jayski is reporting that Brad Keselowski, previously announced as the driver for Phoenix Racing’s No. 09, will be locked into the race. This is expected to be done through a tie-in with a former DEI team. With Keselowski being considered a Cup rookie, Teresa Earnhardt, whose name is attached to the points of the No. 01 and No. 15 teams, will be eligible to be financially involved in more than five teams.
Officially, NASCAR does not allow defunct teams to simply sell owners’ points to the highest bidder. Points transfers are allowed, but only if an ownership share switches hands as a result. An example of this was Michael Waltrip buying the owners’ points of the former No. 77 Kodak Dodge in 2006. The result was the formation of Waltrip-Bawel Racing. This was done to lock in the No. 55 (which, in practice, was a second car for Bill Davis Racing) for the first few races of 2006.
All Sport to Sponsor Mayfield Motorsports in 2009
On Tuesday, the new Mayfield Motorsports team announced their plans for the 2009 season. Jeremy Mayfield will compete in the Sprint Cup Series full-time as the owner-driver of the No. 41 Toyota.
Full time sponsorship (and co-ownership) will be provided by Big Red, Inc., a company best known for their Big Red soda. All Sport, the energy drink division of Big Red, will be the primary sponsor. Tony Furr, former winning crew chief of the 1997 Pepsi 400 (with John Andretti driving) will be the team’s crew chief. The team will make use of chassis and engine components from Triad Racing Technologies, formerly known as Bill Davis Racing.
“Team ownership is something I’ve always wanted to pursue,” Mayfield said on Tuesday. “Things have really fallen into place this year with the NASCAR rule changes and with All Sport coming on board as a partner.”
Mayfield is pleased that he can help out some of the employees that were put out of work as a result of the layoffs at other teams recently.
“Mayfield Motorsports is a collaboration of a lot of good people and friends of mine,” Mayfield said. “With this opportunity, we’re able to put a lot of people who were out of work back into a job, which has given everyone working here a real connection to the team.”
On the sponsor’s side of the coin, it’s all smiles as well.
“We are excited to continue our involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series by teaming up with Mayfield Motorsports to sponsor the No. 41 All Sport Toyota,” Big Red, Inc. Chairman and CEO Gary Smith said. “All Sport has been a key partner in many auto racing sponsorships in the past, and as a result, our plan is to capture the thrill of racing through in-store programs designed to get consumers excited about our connection to motorsports.”
All Sport served as the primary sponsor for a couple of races on the No. 28 Ford of Travis Kvapil late last season. However, to many race fans, they are best remembered as the primary sponsor for Roush Racing’s No. 11 Ford Mustangs driven by Tommy Kendall to Trans-Am championships in the late 1990s.
Golden Corral to Sponsor Kvapil, No. 28 at Daytona
Yates Racing announced on Tuesday that Raleigh, North Carolina-based Golden Corral, a chain of family buffet restaurants, will be the primary sponsor of Kvapil’s No. 28 Ford Fusion for the Daytona 500.
“It’s great to have Golden Corral on board for the biggest race of the year,” Kvapil said in a press release on Tuesday. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Golden Corral, and now to have them on the No. 28 Ford for the Daytona 500 is such a great opportunity for us.”
This is Golden Corral’s first foray into team sponsorship in the Sprint Cup Series, but it is not the first time the restaurant chain has been involved in NASCAR. From 2004 to 2006, Golden Corral was the title sponsor for the spring event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race was known as the Golden Corral 500.
Blu Frog Energy Announces a Three-Pronged Assault on Daytona
On Tuesday, The Limu Company announced that their new product, Blu Frog Energy, will sponsor entries in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide, and Camping World Truck Series races at Daytona International Speedway in the coming weeks. The Blu Frog Energy blue and red colors will be carried by the No. 75 Dodge Charger for Derrike Cope in the Sprint Cup Series and by Larry Foyt on the No. 56 Chevrolet for Mac Hill Motorsports in the Nationwide Series. Foyt will also carry the sponsorship on the No. 74 Dodge in the Camping World Truck Series.
“We’re really excited to have The Limu Company and the new Blu Frog Energy drink as our sponsor,” Cope, owner of the No. 75 Sprint Cup Dodge and the No. 74 Camping World truck said. “We’re especially excited to create great synergy for the Blu Frog Energy brand in combination with Larry Foyt.”