No. 78 Triad Ford Team in 'Sponsorship Limbo'

Triad Ford team in 'sponsorship limbo' By Shawn A. Akers THOMASVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 24, 1999) The No. 78 Triad Motorsports team, with driver Gary Bradberry, has lost one of its primary co-sponsors and the status of the other is currently in limbo,...

Triad Ford team in 'sponsorship limbo' By Shawn A. Akers

THOMASVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 24, 1999) The No. 78 Triad Motorsports team, with driver Gary Bradberry, has lost one of its primary co-sponsors and the status of the other is currently in limbo, team owner Jim Wilson said Wednesday.

Wilson said Pilot Travel Centers, which had sponsored the No. 78 Ford last season, has not officially informed him of its sponsorship plans for 1999, but he is still hopeful that Pilot will be on the car this season.

"We're still working on that," Wilson said.

Wilson said PHARBCO, a pharmaceutical company, announced its intentions to be the co-primary sponsor of the car at the NASCAR Winston Cup Preview in Winston-Salem, N.C., in January, but did not come through with its financial commitment and has dropped out of the picture.

"They didn't make their payment, simple as that," Wilson said. "But while I was in Daytona, I did see PHARB on a Busch car, Jason Keller's car (the No. 57 Chevrolet of Progressive Motorsports). I don't know what that was all about, but it has put a strain on us."

"The only thing we know is that we don't have a sponsor right now," said crew chief Hut Stricklin. "We went to Daytona thinking that we had one, and with a contract saying we had one. But before Daytona, we never received a check. We elected to go anyway."

Bradberry failed to make the field for the Daytona 500. The team was also conspicuous by its absence at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham this past weekend for the Dura-Lube/Big Kmart 400.

"The bad part about it was that we went through the winter thinking and feeling that we had secured sponsorship, and that everything was a done deal," Stricklin said. "Then we found out late that we didn't have one, and it's a little late to be out there looking for one at this point.

"We're still looking, though, whether it be a race-by-race thing, or a 5- or 10-race deal or whatever. We'd obviously like to get a full-year deal, but at this juncture, we'll take anything we can get because we want to race. We're sitting here with eight or nine cars that's ready to go. We're in good shape that way.

"We've still got our deal with Robert Yates to do our engines. We've got a good package to offer somebody, we just need a commitment. Right now, we've just elected to sit out and try to wait until we get something or go to race tracks we feel like we can run good at."

Wilson said the team will miss the Las Vegas 400 next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and Stricklin said the team intends to run the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 14. Beyond that, however, the future is uncertain for the No. 78 Triad Motorsports Ford team.

"Vegas is an expensive trip to run out of pocket, so we've pretty much scrapped that," Stricklin said. "As of right now, we're looking at Atlanta. Gary (Bradberry) and myself, we both love to run there. Darlington (March 21) is a lot like Rockingham in that it's not an expensive race as far as travel, but it is expensive when it comes to tires and things like that. So, that's not one we plan to go to unless we can get some sponsorship."

"This situation has made things much more difficult for us," Wilson said. "You know, we've got good leadership on this team with Hut, Gary is a very good driver, we've got a good crew and we've got a good fleet of cars. All we need now is a sponsor and we'll be ready to go."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jason Keller , Hut Stricklin , Gary Bradberry , Robert Yates , Jim Wilson