Highlights of Monday's teleconference from Las Vegas following the announcement that Sirius Satellite Radio will sponsor Evernham /Ultra Motorsports in 2002 and 2003 with 21-year-old driver Casey Atwood. Ray Evernham and Jim Smith co-own the ...
Highlights of Monday's teleconference from Las Vegas following the announcement that Sirius Satellite Radio will sponsor Evernham /Ultra Motorsports in 2002 and 2003 with 21-year-old driver Casey Atwood. Ray Evernham and Jim Smith co-own the team.
CASEY ATWOOD (No.7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"It's very exciting for me. It just helps everything along. The exciting part about it is that I feel like I'll fit in real good with this bunch. It's a really cool deal. I'm definitely going to have one (Sirius Satellite Radios) in my car and I'm definitely going to recommend it to everyone at home. This is the first time I've got to come and tour everything and find out what it really is. I'm really excited about our relationship with 'em and excited about getting on the race track.
"I've been over there (Ultra Motorsports) once during the off season, about two weeks ago. I'm really excited about it. It's a really, really nice shop. He's got two identical shops right beside each other with the truck team and Winston Cup team. They're getting ready right now building cars, putting bodies on cars. I think they've got a real nice facility to work in. I'm really looking forward to next season.
"I feel like I've learned a lot last season, especially the last half. I feel like I'm a lot better race car driver now. I feel like we can take the same technology and things we learned last year and just put it into this car and hopefully we can make all three cars run like we did the last half of the (2001) season."
RAY EVERNHAM (President and CEO, Team Owner Evernham Motorsports)
"It's certainly a great honor and exciting when you bring a new sponsor into the sport. Jim and I and the people at Dodge had made the commitment to go forward and run with this thing. We believed in it. When we were able to get together with the people at Sirius Satellite, they looked at our program much the same way we look at theirs. They're just starting and announcing something new, too, something that I think is going to be unbelievable in the next five years. I think five years from now having a regular radio in your car is going to be like having rabbit ears on your TV. I think that they look at us the same way, knowing myself and Jim will put a competitive car under Casey and some day Casey is going to be a Winston Cup champion. I think it makes us feel a lot better knowing we have a long term strategic partner. That makes us sleep better at night.
"We've put this program together fairly late with Jim and Ultra Motorsports and myself. Actually, Evernham Motorsports Marketing Services Department did a great job of beating the bushes. This sponsor was new and ready to market. Again, it was just a great opportunity for both of us. It does say, I believe, the economy is going to turn around and it really says a lot for NASCAR Winston Cup as other companies are cutting back. Certainly everybody's got to market. Everybody's got to have an advertising budget. It says an awful lot about our sport that people are diverting some of those dollars into the NASCAR market. It's a two-year deal with options. We're very much hoping to build a long term strategic partnership with Sirius Satellite Radio. As they grow, hopefully we'll grow. Everybody's goal when you start something like this is for Jim and I and Joe and Casey to sit at the head table at the Waldorf some day. I don't know that we can do that in two years, but we can certainly start to head in that direction, and hopefully build a long term strategic partnership. As I said before, I really feel that Sirius Satellite Radio concept five years from now, I really believe that having a regular radio in your car will be like having rabbit ears on your television. Even if they didn't sponsor us, I'm sure we'd put 'em in our cars."
JOE CLAYTON (CEO, President of Sirius Satellite Radio)
"I have run NASCAR before. I ran with Cale Yarborough and Jeremy Mayfield back in '94, '95 and '96. I ran with Cale and John Andretti. I'm not a stranger to the sport or people. We try to partner with people we believe will benefit us in the long term and have a lot of up side capability. With Ray (Evernham) and Jim (Smith) and Casey (Atwood), we believe for a new company and a new team, this is a good fit for us. We'll see what happens. I like our chances.
"We're trying to basically transform an individual's ride or enhance their in-car experience. Part of our advertising message is going to be 'music so great, you may never want to leave your car.'
"What's more appropriate than to be involved in motorsports with that type of advertising or creative approach to the business? In terms of our sampling and trial or demonstrations, we plan to be very active at the NASCAR events themselves. Ray's got the car, but we've got some of our own heavy duty tractor trailer trucks that become demonstration venues, DJ booths, stages for music right there on site. We're going to tie in hospitality, we're going to tie in our brand awareness and the actual demonstration of our product around the whole NASCAR image."