Irwindale, Calif. - - Advantage Ford Lincoln Mercury has signed-on for another year of sponsorship at Irwindale Speedway. "We were one of the first major sponsors to come aboard with Irwindale Speedway way back when the track was only in the planning stages, and it has turned out to be a strong working relationship for us," said Mike Wedmore, Advantage's General Manager.

"Advantage has been very pleased and proud to be the official supplier of cars and trucks for the Speedway for it's first two years of operation, and we're very enthusiastically announcing that we're back with the track for the 2001 season," Wedmore added.

"Obviously, we're very pleased that Advantage will be back with us for the 2001 season," said Irwindale VP/COO Bob DeFazio. "But, more than that, the Advantage people have become friends and colleagues of the track, they're much more like partners than simply sponsors. We value their sponsorship but even more so their pride in the Speedway. They've linked their name and their great reputation to ours and both organizations are the stronger for it. This relationship is has become the model of how we want all sponsor relationships to work here at Irwindale."

The original two-year sponsorship package, which included supplying the Speedway with Ford rolling stock for both track safety and executive staff use, will extend into 2001.

New for next season, not only will there be an Advantage Ford Mustang GT Pace Car, but an Advantage Ford F150 Lightning Pace Truck as well. "Trucks are very hot, we've had four different divisions of them running at Irwindale in our first two years, so why not an Advantage Ford Pace Truck too?," DeFazio asked. When not busy pacing Saturday night racing events at the Speedway, the two special machines will be making "guest appearances" at many local businesses, schools, and community events.

In a clever bit of marketing strategy, Advantage decided to set itself off from a sea of sales clutter by becoming the only dealer to be able to offer customers a chance to actually drive their brand new Ford, Lincoln, or Mercury on the high banks of Irwindale Speedway.

"It' been a good sales tool," indicated Gary Hoecker Advantage's President/Owner. "something no other dealer can offer their customers. Having a complete car and truck display Chalet on premises at every racing event has brought in customers from all over the southland. Racing fans are ferociously loyal to the products and brands that they see as involved with their sport. And we're right there, at every race, with a full array of great Ford Motor Company products ... It's been the perfect scenario for us."

Racing will resume at Irwindale Speedway on the weekend of March 9 & 10 when the short track speedsters of the American Speed Association (ASA) will take to the Irwindale ½-mile track in the first-ever California appearance of that series. "We're excited about working with Irwindale and are serving notice right now that we will be an even stronger Advantage presence at the track in 2001," Wedmore concluded.