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Racing News from around the World
The NASCAR Foundation today helped kick off Homestead Hospital’s capital campaign to build and equip a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) with a check presentation for $250,000. The presentation was officially made by The NASCAR Foundation Founder and Chairwoman, Betty Jane France, during a special ceremony hosted by NASCAR President Mike Helton at Homestead Hospital’s Speediatrics Unit.
Creating a Level II NICU is a top priority, as more than 150 babies born each year at Homestead Hospital need intensive care that currently is provided only at hospitals located more than 20 miles away. This distance between hospital and home creates hardships for families and interferes with the parental bonding that is so vital to a newborn’s health during the first weeks of life. A Level II NICU at Homestead Hospital will allow these babies and their families to stay close to home while receiving the care they need.
The NASCAR Foundation, through Betty Jane France and her Speediatrics unit, has played a crucial role in the success of Homestead Hospital’s pediatric programs. The unique unit is one of only two in the country founded by France and is the only Emergency Center in south Miami-Dade County dedicated to children. Brought to Homestead Hospital in 2002, more than 23,000 patient visits a year are handled in the Speediatrics Children’s Emergency Center.
“We are proud to make this donation to benefit Homestead Hospital’s capital campaign,” said France. “It really is an honor for the foundation and Speediatrics to be involved with Homestead Hospital. This is all about improving the quality of life for children who are patients at the facility. That’s a great goal to aspire to; this donation is a huge step in that direction.”
Part of the donation made by The NASCAR Foundation will be used to purchase Giraffe OmniBed Isolete Incubators, which are the most advanced and developmentally supportive microenvironments available today. The beds combine state of the art technology and thermal performance to create a healing environment for intensively ill newborns.
In addition, the ceremony honored Betty Jane France for her vision, work and dedication to Speediatrics at Homestead Hospital and Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., the first hospital to receive the racing-themed pediatric center. A portrait of Mrs. France was unveiled during the ceremony, which will be permanently on display in the Speediatrics unit.
Six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein has turned the final page and closed the book on his career as a competitor and NHRA racing team owner.
“My wife Sheryl and I have come to a place in our lives where we want to pursue other interests,” said Bernstein. “We have poured our hearts and souls in motorsports for over 30 years and that’s a full time job. It consumes you and there is very little time to relax.
“We are very proud of our accomplishments through the years and it’s been a great ride, but we’re interested in being able to travel at will, we want to spend some time on the golf course, and we’ve recently taken up fly fishing, which we really enjoy.
“It’s time to enjoy life while we still have our health.”
“Kenny, Brandon, Sheryl and team are a first-class organization. We have enjoyed our partnership over the past two seasons,” said Jay Adair, CEO of Copart. “We wish Kenny and Sheryl the best in retirement.”
“Copart was supportive of our decision and we’re very grateful to CEO Jay Adair and President Vinnie Mitz for giving us their blessing and allowing us to step away from the sport,” continued Bernstein. “The Auto Club Finals at Pomona this past weekend was our final run.
“We can’t say enough about the close association and rapport we have built within the Copart organization. In the two years we have worked with them, they have made us feel like family. We were very proud and honored to have flown their colors and represented them.
“There’s certainly a great deal of sadness in coming to terms with the end of an era and some concern about whether or not you can run a life at 300 mph and then come to a sudden stop, but Sheryl and I gave this a tremendous amount of thought before we came to our final decision. Brandon was also a part of the decision-making process and we are going to do everything we can to help him find a position with another team. Brandon lives and breathes the day-to-day demands and understands the endless hours of effort that we poured into the team. Brandon wanted what was best for Sheryl and me at this stage of our lives. He was totally selfless.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to all the team members who have worked for us through the years as well as the sponsors who have supported us. We certainly want to salute the fans who have cheered us on and given us encouragement through the past three decades. And we appreciate all the media coverage through the years. We have made some great friends on all sides of the spectrum and we’re grateful for that.
“We salute the late great NHRA founder Wally Parks, who was a dear friend and gave us an arena in which to live out our dreams. We are fortunate to have had a job that we loved and without Wally’s vision, it’s hard to say where our life’s path would have led.
“For a youngster that grew up in Texas dreaming about cars and reading Hot Rod magazine, we were able to live the dream.
“For the near term, we are looking forward to our induction into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame (May 3, 2012) in Talladega, Ala. alongside John Force and Richard Childress.
“Thanks again to all those who have touched our lives. We are walking away with a treasure chest full of memories.”
Team owner and six-time NHRA champion Kenny Bernstein is a gifted driver and businessman. He holds the unique distinction of being the first and only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America’s three major motorsports series: NHRA drag racing, NASCAR, and CART (IndyCar).
He earned the title “King of Speed” when he became the first NHRA driver to break the 300 miles-per-hour barrier March 20, 1992 in Gainesville, Fla.
In May of 1992 his IndyCar with driver Roberto Guerrero sat on the pole of the Indy 500.
Bernstein’s association with Budweiser lasted for 30 years, setting the watermark as the longest-running sponsorship in the history of auto sports. During his driving career he won 69 NHRA national events, four consecutive Funny Car championships (1985-1988) along with two Top Fuel championships (1996 and 2001). He was also voted in the top 10 on NHRA’s 50 Greatest Drivers list.
As a team owner he has accumulated 18 Top Fuel victories with son Brandon at the wheel.
Following is a chronological list of Kenny Bernstein’s career highlights. For a more detailed list, please visit www.kennybernstein.com.
1966 Supported a Top Fuel drag racing hobby which included several
victories on the Texas Pro Fuel Circuit, by selling high fashion women’s
1974 Abandoned his racing hobby to focus on the Chelsea Street Pub
Restaurant chain he founded with Randy Pumphrey in Lubbock, Texas
1978 Returned to racing in mid-season with the Chelsea King Funny Car.
1979 Won his first NHRA national event, the Cajun Nationals in Baton
1980 Debuted the Budweiser King Funny Car, beginning a sponsorship
association that lasted an unprecedented 30 years
1983 Drove the Budweiser King Funny Car to victory in both the Big
Bud Shootout and the U.S. Nationals during the same weekend,
becoming the first to achieve that double win
1984 Became the first Funny Car driver to break the 260 mile-per-hour
barrier (260.11 mph), March 18, Gainesville, Fla.
1985 Won the first of four consecutive NHRA Funny Car Championships
Founded King Racing NASCAR team
1986 Won his second NHRA Funny Car Championship
Became the first to break the 5.50-second barrier (5.425 seconds,
Sept. 26, Ennis, Texas)
Became the first to break the 270 mph barrier in a Funny Car
(271.41 mph, Aug. 30, Indianapolis)
1987 Won the NHRA Funny Car Championship for the third time
Became the first to break the 5.40-second barrier in a Funny Car
(5.397 seconds, April 5, Ennis, Texas)
Won Big Bud Shootout for the second time
Founded King Protofab IndyCar team (later renamed King
1988 Won the fourth consecutive and final NHRA Funny Car Championship
of his career
Earned first victory as a NASCAR team owner when Ricky Rudd
prevailed at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
1989 Announced decision to move from Funny Cars to Top Fuel
dragsters in 1990
Earned second NASCAR win with Ricky Rudd at Sears
Point (now Infineon Raceway) in Sonoma, Calif.
1990 Debuted the Budweiser King Top Fuel dragster
Earned third NASCAR victory with Brett Bodine at North
1991 Tied the single season record at that time for Top Fuel
victories with six
Earned the final spot in the Cragar 4-Second Club
Became the first driver to win both the Big Bud Shootout
for Funny Cars and the Budweiser Classic for Top Fuel
cars with Classic victory at Pomona, Calif.
1992 Became the first driver to break the 300 mph barrier (301.70
mph, March 20, Gainesville, Fla.)
Was pole-winning and one-lap and four-lap speed record-setting
owner at the Indianapolis 500 with driver Roberto Guerrero.
1993 Became the first driver to win 100 career rounds in both Top
Fuel and Funny Car
Won the Budweiser Classic for second time
1994 Became the first driver to break the 310 mile-per-hour barrier
with speed of 311.85 mph in semifinals and set NHRA national
record of 314.46 mph in season-ending Finals at Pomona, Calif.
Earned first IndyCar victory as a car owner when Scott Goodyear
prevailed at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.
This victory made Bernstein the first car owner to attain victories
In each of the tree major American auto racing series: CART,
NASCAR and NHRA drag racing.
1996 Won first NHRA Top Fuel Championship and became first driver to
win championships in both nitro categories
2001 Won sixth NHRA Championship, second in Top Fuel
With son Brandon, became the first father and son to win at
the same NHRA national event in April at The Strip at Las
Vegas Motor Speedway. They doubled again in June at
Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.
Voted in the top 10 drivers in NHRA’s 50-year history
2002 This season marked Bernstein’s “Forever Red…A Run To
Remember” retirement tour
Bernstein passed the keys to the company car to son Brandon
2003 Brandon’s rookie season.
Kenny stepped back into the cockpit after son Brandon sustained
season-ending back injuries from a crash in Englishtown, N.J.
Kenny won four events to finish the season sixth in point standings
after beginning to accrue points in the 10th event of the season.
2004 Brandon returned to the Top Fuel cockpit
2005 Named by the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters
Association as one of 12 nominees for the Newsmaker of the Half-
Century award. In alphabetical order the nominees were: Mario
Andretti, Kenny Bernstein, Dale Earnhardt, John Force, A.J.Foyt,
the France family, Jeff Gordon, Dan Gurney, the Hulman-George
family, Wally Parks, Roger Penske and Richard Petty.
2006 Inducted into the Texas Motor Sports Hall of Fame April 5 at a
Gala at the Texas Motor Speeddway
Announced at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals that he would stage
an NHRA comeback driving the Monster Energy Funny Car in 2007
2007 After one season driving the Monster Energy Funny Car, Kenny
made the decision to step out of the cockpit
Inducted into the Don Garlits International Drag Racing Hall of Fame
2009 Celebrated Budweiser/Bernstein 30th anniversary, the longest team/
Sponsor relationship in autosports history. Also the final year of
2010-11 Two seasons of Copart sponsorship
Bernstine Racing PR
Bruton Smith Named Tribute Recipient for 2012 North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards - David Poole To Be Honored16 Nov 2011 Written by Steven B. Wilson
The North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) announced Bruton Smith as the 2012 Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award recipient for the Sixth Annual North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards presented by Senn Dunn Insurance. The announcement took place at the NCMA’s annual membership luncheon today at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
In addition to Smith, the late David Poole, long-time Charlotte Observer motorsports writer, will be honored with the Media Recognition Award. The event will also recognize seven industry organizations (listed below) for their 2011 accomplishments and positive impacts on the Motorsports Industry in North Carolina. All the recipients will be honored at the awards banquet Monday, January 16 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, N.C.
Growing up on a modest farm near Oakboro, N.C., O. Bruton Smith parlayed his love for “building things” into a business empire, focusing on the motorsports and automotive industries. Today, his companies provide hundreds of full-time North Carolina jobs and opportunities for racing fans, competitors and businesses. Smith founded Speedway Motorsports Inc. by consolidating his motorsports holdings in December 1994, and in February 1995, he made it the first motorsports company to trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:TRK).
Currently Speedway Motorsports Inc. owns and operates eight premier motorsports facilities: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. Speedway Motorsports also provides souvenir merchandising services through its SMI Properties subsidiary, and manufactures and distributes smaller-scale, modified racing cars through U.S. Legend Cars International. In August of 2008, utilizing 1,876 workers and a combined 636,000 man hours, the first-ever, four-lane drag strip was opened on the grounds of Charlotte
Motor Speedway. In 2010, zMAX Dragway hosted the inaugural Four-Wide Nationals, a ground-breaking event for the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA).
Always interested in cars, Smith promoted various racing events during the 1950s, featuring the burgeoning National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR). Though a rough era for the sport, Smith was one of the first truly professional promoters who paid good purses, tended to the needs of the fans and found unique ways to promote events staged at the speedways he leased around North Carolina. His dedication to enhancing the race fan’s experience continues to today with CMS adding the world’s largest HDTV to its backstretch during the 2011 season.
Smith is also very active in philanthropic activities, including Speedway Children’s Charities which he founded in 1982. The non-profit organization has grown to include chapters at each of the Speedway Motorsports facilities and has distributed more than $40 million to agencies that provide educational, medical and social support to children.
In April 2007, Smith was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and he became a member of the National Motorsports Press Association Hall of Fame in January 2006. In January, Smith will join Benny Parsons, Richard Petty, Richard Childress, Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Junior Johnson as the sixth recipient of the North Carolina Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award.
2012 North Carolina Motorsports Industry Awards:
• Bruton Smith, Achievement in Motorsports Tribute Award
• David Poole, Media Recognition Award (Posthumously)
• G-Force Racing Gear
• Industrial Hard Carbon
• JRi Shocks
• Lake Norman Elementary School Pit Crew
• NASCAR Whelen All-American Series
• Racing Electronics
Richmond County Tourism Authority
His second season of competitive racing, third-generation racer Jarett Andretti is again a champion. The 18-year-old N.C. State freshman recently won the USAC Eastern Ford Focus Midget Series Pavement Championship. He did so by winning five feature events this summer including one at the famed Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Andretti was only 37 points behind the national champion in the series. He finished runner-up even after not competing in all the events in his Tracy Trotter-owned No. 11 Calico Coatings/Window World Ford Focus Midget. This is Andretti's second championship after winning the TaG Karting Championship last season.
"It's great to have won the pavement championship with this team," said Andretti. "My owner (Tracy Trotter) gave me a great car all season and I just learned a ton. It's really cool to win anything, but this is my first open wheel championship in oval racing. I'll remember this one for a long time."
Andretti spent much of his summer and fall traveling between his home in Mooresville (N.C.) to his family roots in Indianapolis (Ind.) where he also competed on both dirt and pavement in the Midwest USAC Ford Focus Midget Series. The son of winning NASCAR, IndyCar and professional sports car driver John Andretti, Jarett also made his USAC National Mopar Midget Series debut winning his first heat race at the Indianapolis Speedrome before rain cancelled the feature event.
"I've just learned so much and feel like a better racer," continued Jarett. "Especially going to Indiana throughout the summer and racing at places my father raced. That's pretty memorable and I'm looking forward to doing a lot more racing in both Indiana and North Carolina next year."
Andretti will now continue his studies as a college freshman and prepare for the next race season. He is still looking for corporate partners to help him compete in various sanctioning bodies in 2012 as he continues to move up the racing ladder.
SponsorEdge.com is offering an 'off season' special for new members.
Race drivers, teams, tracks, series and events can now all join for a one year all-inclusive online membership for only $25. Agencies, sponsors and companies can now join for free!
Now is the time for racers to work on sponsorships and deals for next season and SponsorEdge.com offers a place for racers to have an online sponsorship profile page and a forum for connecting and networking with potential sponsors.
The membership perks for agencies and companies are endless with the new Premium company membership that allows you to post "hot deals" and promote your products and services to the membership. Offer discounts and create a promotional profile page. Companies can also adjust the type of racing venue or racer that that are looking to work with or promote to in our database.
Drivers, teams, tracks and series also have an opportunity to promote themselves and their racing programs to the membership and display their latest news on the home page for added exposure!
If you are a racer or a company already using social networking to promote yourself - SponsorEdge.com is a place where you need to be! An affordable way to market yourself and your racing plus feature in detail what you have to offer a company. Then you are prepared with your own professional SponsorEdge.com profile geared to attract sponsors on and off the site.
SponsorEdge.com is an interactive website for motorsports. Network with companies, racers, teams, and tracks. Connect with sponsors! Market, promote and do business with hundreds of members in our database. Home of the 'HOT DEALS'!
Miami NASCAR Weekend at Tootsie's Cabaret Features a Guest Appearance November 18th by Howard Stern Show Character 'Ronnie the Limo Driver'16 Nov 2011 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Ronnie "The Limo Driver" Mund, the Howard Stern character who can't get enough of strip clubs, will be a special guest host November 18th at Tootsie's Cabaret in Miami. Tootsie's is a 74,000 square foot, two story venue in Miami Gardens that is part of the Rick's Cabaret International, Inc. (NASDAQ:RICK) group of clubs.
Ronnie will be in Florida for the NASCAR Ford Championship Weekend races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, including the 2011 Ford 200 and 2011 Ford 300 and 2011 Ford 400 events. Guests with tickets to the events and those with pit crew passes from Homestead-Miami Speedway events will be admitted free. Ronnie will arrive at Tootsie's about 10 p.m. and will give away a pair of pre-race passes and race tickets to the Sunday event.
The popular Stern character will also pose for photos, sign autographs and, as always, fraternize as many of the 300 Tootsie's entertainers as he can. The club features all nude entertainment in three distinct venues – the main floor Tootsie's Cabaret; the upscale Next Level on the second floor; and the popular Knockers Sports Bar, with more than a dozen big-screen television sets showing every available sporting event.
"I always have a great time at Tootsies, and a NASCAR weekend should make it even more amazing," said Ronnie, who is also looking forward to reuniting with his friend DJ Platypus, one of the Tootsie's popular DJs.
For more information check out facebook.com/tootsiescabaret or twitter.com/tootsiescabaret or get text messages by texting "Join Tootsies" to 78747. Located at 150 NW 183rd St., Miami Gardens, FL 33169, on the corner of Rt. 441 and Miami Gardens Drive'
Rick's Cabaret International, Inc. PR
Novo Nordisk, a world leader in diabetes care, and Chip Ganassi Racing Teams, Inc. announced today that the two organizations have entered into a multi-year extension of their partnership. Novo Nordisk will remain the primary sponsor of the No. 83 Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing entry, driven by Charlie Kimball in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Kimball, 26, from Camarillo, Calif., is the first licensed driver with type 1 diabetes in the history of INDYCAR to race at the highest level of the series. Diagnosed in 2007, he monitors his blood sugar before, during and after each race. Charlie also uses the Novo Nordisk insulin Levemir® (insulin detemir [rDNA origin] injection) and NovoLog® (insulin aspart [rDNA origin] injection) to help manage his diabetes, administering it with a prefilled insulin pen device called FlexPen®.
"After an exciting first year, we are extremely proud to continue our partnership with Charlie Kimball and Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing," said Camille Lee, Corporate Vice President, Diabetes Marketing at Novo Nordisk. "This team represents a unique opportunity for us, as a pharmaceutical company, to raise disease awareness on a broader scale and show everyone that diabetes doesn't need to slow you down."
The new agreement begins with the 2012 IZOD IndyCar season and the launch of a new IZOD IndyCar Series car that replaces the race car introduced in 2003. Next year also marks the fourth consecutive year of partnership between Novo Nordisk and Kimball. Following two years of sponsorship of Kimball in the Firestone Indy Lights Series, Novo Nordisk partnered with Chip Ganassi Racing to form Novo Nordisk Chip Ganassi Racing and in December 2010, became the title sponsor of Charlie in his IndyCar rookie season.
"It speaks volumes that a company like Novo Nordisk is making this type of long-term commitment to our team, to Charlie, and the IndyCar Series," said Chip Ganassi, Owner, Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. "Charlie has done everything that we have asked of him on the track and we certainly feel his future is bright. As for Novo, they have been a tremendous partner both on- and off- the track. The IndyCar Series could use more partners like them."
Novo Nordisk has also been actively involved in providing information about diabetes awareness at INDYCAR events through the Drive the Switch device awareness program and the award-winning Race with Insulin™ campaign. The team extension also retains the company's primary sponsorship of Kimball's race car, race suit and other branding opportunities. Kimball will continue to make appearances on behalf of Novo Nordisk throughout the term of the agreement.
Kimball has posted two top-10 finishes in 2011 at Birmingham and New Hampshire and finished 13th in his debut at the Indianapolis 500. He launched his single-seater racing career in 2002 and has raced in several international series since then, highlighted by a five-win effort in the 2005 British Formula 3 Championship. At that time, Kimball established himself as the first American to win a British Formula 3 race in 11 years.
"My partnership with Novo Nordisk is very unique because they make the insulins I take every day and they produce the delivery device I use to manage my diabetes," Kimball said. "I am fortunate to have Novo Nordisk and Chip Ganassi Racing support me in my career and I am proud and honored to be associated with these two outstanding organizations."
Novo Nordisk PR
With the American 200 10 days in the rearview mirror, the Frank Kimmel Street Stock Nationals (FKSSN) are now only 10 days from their annual rumble on the high banks of Rockingham Speedway.
Up to 99 cars will take the green flag for the fourth annual Polar Bear 150 at Rockingham Speedway on November 26. Already registered for this year's running are Chuck Barnes, Sr., winner of the first two Polar Bear 150s, Frank Kimmel II, and Bryan Silas, winner of the CARS Pro Cup portion of the American 200 earlier this month.
"It's shaping up to be a great field for the Polar Bear," said Rockingham Speedway President Andy Hillenburg. "We are getting closer to that field of 99 cars coming to the take the green flag to start this thing. It is always a lot of fun and we hope everyone comes out. There are still great seats available."
NASCAR returns to Rockingham on April 15, 2012 for the Camping World Truck Series Good Sam Club Roadside Assistance 200.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Rockingham Speedway at 855-NC-ROCKS or visit us online at www.rockinghamspeedway.com.
The Rock PR
Breaking Limits continued its recent growth today by announcing the hiring of Ryan Fontaine as its new Director of Marketing and Events. Fontaine will lead an already experienced and established staff in overseeing the company's current client portfolio as well as assisting in the development of new opportunities. He will report directly to chief operating officer Jeff Elliott and chief executive officer Bobby Labonte.
Fontaine joins the Huntersville, N.C., full-service marketing agency after eight years at Octagon Marketing North America. At Octagon, Fontaine progressed from the position of Event Coordinator to Account Manager within the agency's consulting division. He worked with clients including BMW North America, Sprint and Bank of America across their various sports sponsorship properties. Fontaine most recently helped lead the strategic planning and execution of the Bank of America 500 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
"Ryan comes to Breaking Limits at a time when we're positioning ourselves for the next step of our growth plan," said Elliott. "Through his knowledge within the sports industry, he has proven himself to be a leader, strategic thinker and a person who has delivered positive results for Fortune 100 companies. We believe his addition is a great opportunity for all of our current and prospective partners moving forward."
Prior to his work with Bank of America, Fontaine was an instrumental member of the Sprint account team. He helped the team in various aspects of its planning and execution as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. On a regional level, he also played a large role in the transition from the Nextel brand to the Sprint brand across its sponsorship properties and assets.
A graduate of Fairfield University and Connecticut native, Fontaine currently lives with his wife in Charlotte.
Breaking Limits PR
Toyota Racing today awarded the grand prize to “AJBULOWSCAR” in the fourth round of its popular Sponsafier contest, where fans could design and enter their own NASCAR Sprint Cup car at www.ToyotaRacing.com from June 5 to Aug. 28 to win a visit from their favorite Toyota NASCAR driver. The winning artwork, created by David Bulow of San Jose, Calif., triumphed over more than 26,000 entries and will be brought to life at Phoenix International Raceway — a No. 18 Camry sporting the “AJBULOWSCAR” paint scheme will be on display at the SPEED stage on Sunday.
Toyota Racing launched the inaugural Sponsafier contest at the 2010 Daytona 500. Since then, four rounds of the contest have resulted in more than 200,000 design submissions and over two million public votes. Artwork has ranged from marriage proposal cars and patriotic racers to cause-related designs. “AJUBLOWSCAR” joins the ranks of previous Sponsafier grand prize winners “Praying for Karson,” “Lou Gehrig aka ALS” and “Chelsea’s Hope.”
"Over the past two years, interest from fans in the Sponsafier program has exceeded our expectations," said Ed Laukes, vice president–marketing communications & motorsports for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. (TMS). "It has provided fans with a unique way to connect with their favorite Toyota driver, as well as allow fans to highlight something that they feel is important or special. We’ve received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from fans, and our Toyota drivers have really enjoyed being part of the program. We would like to thank all the fans for their submissions.”
Similar to past rounds of the contest, fans were invited to create as many designs as they wished utilizing tools from the site. They were encouraged to share their work on social networking sites to rally votes from friends, family and admirers of their designs. More than 180,000 votes were cast to narrow the field down to ten finalists. In addition to Bulow’s car, finalists included:
- “Anthony’s Car” submitted by Michelle G. of Acwroth, Ga.
- “Avery’s Hope” submitted by Adam R. of Hernando, Miss.
- “Cameron” submitted by Joseph G. of Branson , Mo.
- “Carcinoid Car” submitted by Danielle P. of Hawthorne, N.Y.
- “Cure for Alzheimer’s” submitted by Janice K. of Palm Springs, Calif.
- “Decorah Eagles” submitted by George B. of Las Vegas, Nev.
- “Helping Paws” submitted by Jennifer H. of Huntingdon, Penn.
- “Moose Charities” submitted by Brian T. of Kissimmee, Fla.
- “Sponsafied for a Soldier” submitted by Zachary W. of Belton, S.C.
Each finalist will receive a 1/12 scale die-cast car with his or her Sponsafied paint scheme.
A final round of public voting took place from Oct. 5-19, and then a panel of judges comprised of Toyota executives and NASCAR personalities determined the grand prize winner. Along with a visit from his favorite Toyota driver, Bulow’s grand prize package also includes the opportunity to showcase his design at a NASCAR race track, a 1/12 scale die-cast car of his design and assorted Toyota Racing gear.
Bulow created the paint scheme based on design input from his six-year-old son, AJ. The young NASCAR enthusiast instructed his dad on everything from the racing flames to the checkered flag on the car’s rear bumper. The car features a photo of AJ piloting Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Camry along each side. The Bulow family previously sent the photo to Busch and it was returned autographed. AJ has been hooked on NASCAR and an avid fan ever since.
“There have been quite a few designs that have been really, really colorful and unique,” said Keith Dahl, national motorsports and engagement marketing manager. “Racing is a team sport, so it’s fitting that the winning entry came from a father and son team. The story behind the design is pretty neat -- that AJ became a fan after getting an autographed picture -- and that image is featured on the winning design.”
To view “AJ Bulow’s Car” and the all of the designs in the gallery, visit www.ToyotaRacing.com.
Toyota Racing PR
Today, .ORG, The Public Interest Registry (PIR) proudly announced its pledge to donate $50,000 to Victory Junction, a year-round camp founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. PIR along with GoDaddy.com, the world's largest provider of Web hosting, domain name registrations and net-new SSL Certificates, are set to present a combined donation of $100,000 to Kyle Petty at the Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway on Sun. Nov. 13, 2011.
"PIR is proud to support Victory Junction, a unique organization that aims to better the lives of ailing children by providing a safe, fun, and valuable outdoors experience," said Brian Cute, CEO of .ORG, The Public Interest Registry. "At PIR, we're always looking for ways to recognize the many organizations promoting their causes on a .ORG website and through our partnership with GoDaddy.com and NASCAR, we are able to do just that."
PIR joins GoDaddy.com in this contribution to Victory Junction as a part of the companies' ongoing sponsorship with NASCAR. Victory Junction invites children from all around the world to experience a fun, exciting camping experience in a safe and medically-sound environment. Victory Junction offers programs specific to 24 disease groups and operates solely through the support of donors.
"Donors are what make this program work," said NASCAR driver Mark Martin, who drives the GoDaddy.com No. 5 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and supports Victory Junction. "We appreciate tech leaders like GoDaddy.com and The Public Interest Registry who step up to make a difference to help these children. That's what it's all about!"
ORG, The Public Interest Registry