Craftsman Unveils Nhra Sponsorship
To Back Dale Creasy Funny Car in 2002
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. After almost 50 years of involvement with the National Hot Rod Association, including sponsoring races and serving as Official Tools of NHRA, Craftsman will be the primary sponsor of a team for the entire 2002 season.
Dale Creasy Jr. and his Creasy Family Racing team will field the Craftsman Funny Car at all 23 NHRA National events in 2002, starting with the season opener at Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10.
While Craftsman has supplied tools to top NHRA teams over the years, this marks the first time Craftsman has been primary sponsor on a competition car.
"Last year, Dale's car donned a special Craftsman paint job for the Sears Craftsman Nationals," said Tour0x00e9 Claiborne, Sears motorsports marketing manager. "He ran a Craftsman paint scheme on his car at our title race in St. Louis, and a few other races during the second half of the year. The response from motorsports fans and our customers, both at the track and in Sears stores, was phenomenal. Last year's success was a clear indication that Creasy Family Racing needed to be a part of our Craftsman plans for the 2002 racing season."
The Creasy Funny Car will carry the same distinctive Craftsman black and red paint scheme that Creasy unveiled at the 2001 Sears Craftsman Nationals and made famous in a fiery starting-line explosion at the U.S. Nationals.
"I could talk about this for two days," said Creasy of his Craftsman sponsorship. "This changes my whole philosophy on racing. Now I have the resources I need to get the equipment everyone else has. Before, our approach was race-to-race. Now I can plan ahead."
Creasy, known as "Peanut" to family, friends and race fans, will take new equipment and new talent to the 42nd Annual K&N Filters Winternationals. Veteran Funny Car and Top Fuel crew chief Jimbo Ermalovich has joined the team to work with Creasy's long-time chief mechanic, Dale Creasy Sr.
"Creasy Family Racing is a great team for Craftsman tools to sponsor," Claiborne continued. "Dale works on the car himself, and the team has been able to accomplish a lot on a modest budget. That's a situation that the do-it-yourselfers and professional mechanics who use Craftsman tools can identify with and appreciate."
Creasy and his car will visit Sears stores in race markets, and provide the foundation for an expanded program to showcase Craftsman tools and merchandise to fans at race venues. The team will be featured in Craftsman advertising and in mailers to more that seven million Craftsman Club members.
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2002, Craftsman is the Official Tools of NHRA. According to a 2001 Equitrend survey, Craftsman is rated the number-one brand in the nation for overall quality. Sears sells more than 1,800 Craftsman hand tools, all made in America and guaranteed forever. Sears offers Craftsman tools, merchandise and related services nationwide through its full-line stores, Sears Hardware, Sears dealer stores and Orchard Supply Hardware stores as well as through specialty catalogs and online at www.sears.com.