ATLANTA, November 17, 2001& ...
ATLANTA, November 17, 2001— Kmart announced today it will continue its support of two Winston Cup cars in 2002 and will be an official sponsor of the Daytona 500, making the 102-year-old company the most supportive mass retailer of NASCAR.
Longtime motorsports sponsor Kmart Corporation (NYSE:KM) is the only mass retailer supporting more than one team during the 2002 season, in addition to being an official sponsor of the Daytona 500. Kmart aggressively promotes its racing program through its network of more than 2,100 stores nationwide and through its Internet properties– the BlueLight.com online shopping site and the BlueLight Unlimited Internet Service.
“ We want to see Kmart take the checkered flag this season,” said Tom Lemke, Vice-President Marketing and Sales for Kmart. “ Our customers love NASCAR racing and we are putting the power of the Kmart brand behind a program that will give them some great racing action. We’re excited to have our two-car team for Winston Cup again this year and we’re looking forward to creating our most successful NASCAR season ever. We’re also thrilled to launch our new season by being part of the Daytona 500 sponsorship.”
The two Kmart-sponsored cars will be prepared by Haas Carter Motorsports, which is owned and operated by Travis Carter. The two-car team features the No. 26 Kmart Ford driven by newcomer Joe Nemechek and the No. 66 Kmart BlueLight Special Ford driven by Todd Bodine.
Kmart’s continued support of NASCAR is bolstered by a successful 2001 season and the sport’s growing popularity as a true American pastime. Todd Bodine held three pole positions through 34 races of the 2001 season while Jimmy Spencer, the former #26 driver, took two. Combined, the two drivers have five top-five finishes and five top 10’s.
“ We’ve made a lot of progress on track this year, and it was great to see both Kmart Fords on the pole and starting one-two,” continued Lemke. “ It proves we’ve got the right partner in Haas Carter Motorsports and our team is taking the right steps to get the performance that will put us in Victory Lane.”
“ Kmart has been a great partner,” said Travis Carter, owner of Haas Carter Motorsports. “ You need someone who sticks with you through thick and thin– and they have done that. Kmart’s support of the team and the sport has been tremendous.”
Haas Carter Motorsports recently announced their No. 26 Ford will have a new driver for the 2002 season, NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek. ‘ Front Row Joe’ will replace Jimmy Spencer, who will be leaving the team after seven years of service.
“ Obviously, the number-one objective is to get into victory lane,” said Nemechek, who recently won his second career victory at Rockingham. “ I’m looking for us to come out very strong in Daytona. I would like to end the 2002 season in the top-10 for driver’s points and walk across the stage at the Waldorf. I think that is realistic and important for the team and the sponsor. Consistency will be a big part of that.”
Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 66 Kmart Blue Light Special Ford, will start his third season with Haas Carter Motorsports in 2002.
“ I am very excited to have Joe on my team,” said Todd Bodine, driver of the No. 66 Kmart BlueLight Special. “ He’s a good friend of mine and an excellent driver. He will be an asset to Haas Carter Motorsports and Kmart Racing.”
Kmart Sponsors Daytona 500
Kmart also is an official sponsor for the 2002 Daytona 500. As the“ Official Retailer” of the Daytona 500, Kmart will have prominent signage throughout the track, visibility in the event program and other promotional opportunities. Kmart shoppers will even have a chance to win a trip to attend the race.
As part of Kmart’s effort to reach a wider NASCAR audience in 2002, Kmart will not sponsor the Kmart 400. Instead, the company will focus its marketing efforts across the entire NASCAR schedule, rather than concentrating on just one race.
Kmart started its racing involvement in 1988 sponsoring Mario Andretti on the Indy Car circuit. The company made its move to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 1995 with Kranefuss/Haas Racing.
Kmart Corporation is a near-$40 billion company that serves all 50 states, the Caribbean Islands and Asia Pacific with more than 2,100 Kmart and Kmart SuperCenter retail outlets. Kmart gives back to the communities it serves through Leaders in Learning, an aggressive corporate giving and community outreach initiative focused on supporting diverse education programs and promoting lifelong learning. Kmart associates also provide their most valuable resource - time - every day in their local communities. More information about Kmart is available at the company’s e-commerce shopping site www.bluelight.com under the“ About Kmart” section.