Daytona 150-mile qualifiers get new sponsor

Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service Saturday, Sep 19 1831
Roughly 12-hours after BRP’s Can-Am brand announced a major sponsorship deal with a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team, Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III announced Can-Am also will lend its name to February’s two 150-mile qualifying races for the Daytona 500, collectively to be known at the Can-Am Duel at Daytona.

“We’re pleased to announce that BRP, manufacturer of iconic brands like Ski-Doo, Sea-Doo, Evinrude, Rotax and Can-Am, will serve as the title sponsor of the 150-mile qualifying races at Daytona,” Chitwood said during a Saturday morning press conference at Chicagoland Speedway.

“I can’t think of a better time in terms of the opening of Daytona Rising (the massive capital project currently nearing completion at Daytona) for a new partner to jump on board with an iconic race of ours.”

Can-Am replaces Budweiser as the sponsor of the Duel.

On Friday night in Nashville, Tenn., BRP revealed the Can-Am brand as major sponsor of the Sprint Cup effort of GoFAS Racing, owned by Archie St. Hilaire. Can-Am will sponsor the No. 32 Ford of Jeffrey Earnhardt for 11 races next year and will take on an associate’s role for the balance of the events.

In addition, Can-Am will sponsor the car for two of 2000 premier series champion Bobby Labonte’s four restrictor-plate races next year.

“To be able to make this step into the Sprint Cup Series is a dream come true,” said Earnhardt, Chase driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s nephew. “This is what I’ve been working for my whole entire life, and now to actually be here, it’s pretty unbelievable…

“With Bobby being my mentor and co-driver of the No. 32 Can-Am car, it’s going to help me a lot. He’s a champion, and he’s been in the sport for a long time.”