NASCAR's Top Drivers to take a "Victory Lap" in the Big Apple
Donald Trump to give "Gentlemen Start Your Engines" command as cars roar down Broadway
NEW YORK (Nov. 29, 2004) -- NASCAR fans will see the top NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series drivers roar down Broadway for an unprecedented "Victory Lap" commemorating the inaugural Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, on Dec. 2. The 10 drivers who competed in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup will make the Great White Way the sport's newest road course for a day, as part of the annual NASCAR Champion's Week celebration held in New York, it was announced today by NASCAR and Nextel Communications (NASDQ: NXTL).
The loud and unforgettable Victory Lap starts at 9:45 a.m., when the 10 contenders in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup will strap into their machines outside the NASDAQ in Times Square. Donald J. Trump, chairman, president and CEO of the Trump Organization, will then say the most famous words in racing -- "Gentlemen Start Your Engines" -- and wave the Green Flag. The race cars will roar down Broadway, turn left on 42nd Street and finally take a "checkered flag" at NASCAR's New York office on 52nd Street and Park Avenue.
The 10 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers -- Kurt Busch (the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion), Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler and Tony Stewart -- will be chaperoned by the two Chevrolet pace vehicles and the NYPD.
"New York is big, NASCAR is big, and this is going to be a big happening," Trump said. "People in this city are used to seeing some interesting things. I can guarantee that the sight and sound of 10 NASCAR stock cars revving 800 horsepower on the most famous street in the world is going to be unforgettable."
"New York City is proud to host NASCAR's Champion's Week," said New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth Podziba. "We are pleased to partner with NASCAR as the sport continues to build its fan base in the five boroughs and the industry celebrates another successful season at its culminating event -- the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria."
Tim Donahue, president and chief executive officer of Nextel, the title sponsor of racing's premier series, will open the NASDAQ trading market on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. Donahue will be joined by George Pyne, chief operating officer of NASCAR, and the top 10 drivers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
Prior to opening NASDAQ, Busch, along with crew chief, Jimmy Fennig, NASCAR officials and Nextel executives, will participate in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' annual Times Square photo shoot. A representative from Mayor Bloomberg's office will read a proclamation recognizing Friday, Dec. 3 as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Day in New York City. Additionally, a representative of the Governor of New York, George Pataki, will proclaim Friday, Dec. 3 as NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Day in the Empire State.
In addition to the Victory Lap, NASCAR and Nextel have planned a range of advertising, promotional and marketing activities for Champion's Week (Nov. 28 -- Dec. 3):
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series NYC Pit Stop Tour Collect and Win Sweepstakes Game: NASCAR fans will be encouraged to visit race cars for sponsors Best Western, Budweiser, Dodge, Kodak, M&Ms, Maxwell House, The Home Depot, and Unilever stationed at high-traffic areas including the Army Recruiting Station in Times Square, The Plaza Hotel, Madison Square Garden, Bryant Park, Union Square, Madison Square Park, Intrepid Sea Air Museum and the NASCAR office on Park Avenue. New Yorkers who visit the show cars will get NASCAR-related giveaways and collect rubber stamps for chance to win free NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series cell phones, a trip to the Richard Petty Driving Experience or the grand prize trip to the Feb. 20, 2005 Daytona 500. The "Pit Stop Tour Collect and Win Sweepstakes" will be promoted by the New York Daily News.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Chase Contenders' Autograph Session and NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Trophy Photos: Several of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 drivers will appear in an autograph-signing at the NBC Experience Store at 30 Rockefeller Center on Thursday, Dec. 2, from 2:30-4:30. The 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Trophy, produced by Tiffany and Co., will also be available for photo opportunities.
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion's Week Awards Ceremony Press Luncheon: A special media luncheon for the Top 10 Chase Contenders will take place on Thursday, December 2 at Cipriani Restaurant on 42nd Street at Grand Central Station.
Nextel Mobile Marketing: Nextel will place a mobile marketing unit and simulator at the Intrepid Sea Air Museum on December 3. Other locations will be determined shortly. Nextel will have extensive signage throughout the city during Champion's Week. The company's signature black and yellow colors will wrap 10 airport shuttles, 25 taxi tops, 25 phone kiosks surrounding the Waldorf=Astoria, 30 street vendor carts and 250,000 coffee cups throughout the city. The Waldorf=Astoria, traditionally clad in red and gold, will have a heavy Nextel presence through its key cards, newspaper bags, door hangers and city maps bearing vibrant yellow-and-black NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series logos.
Awards Ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel: Since 1981, NASCAR has honored the season's champion in New York. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Awards Ceremony from the Waldorf=Astoria will be broadcast live on TNT on Friday, Dec. 3 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET. The 2004 NASCAR awards show will feature top entertainers and musical entertainment, a result of NASCAR Digital Entertainment's efforts establishing a presence and communicating value within the entertainment industry. Viewers of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Awards Ceremony on Friday, Dec. 3, will enjoy the comedy of Jay Mohr and musical performances by former front man of the multi-platinum rock band Creed Scott Stapp and Brian McKnight. Collective Soul and 'Last Comic Standing' alumnus Gary Gulman will appear during the NASCAR Busch Series Awards Ceremony.
Other events occurring during Champion's Week include the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Challenge between Busch and the Fire Department of New York and a visit with the Ronald McDonald House.
Additionally, Nextel will play host to an A-list of celebrities and the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers at a special Champion's Celebration at the premier New York night club, Marquee, on Thursday, Dec. 2.
About NASCAR in New York
New York is the fourth largest NASCAR market in the country in terms of homes tuned to the average NASCAR events. On average, more households in the New York market tuned in to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series events on network television than Knicks and Ranger games on their local affiliates in 2003. NASCAR is the second-highest-rated sport on network television. NASCAR's New York office was opened in 1998 to draw corporate interest and involvement to all levels of the sport. NASCAR has more Fortune 500 involvement than any other sport. NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events rank second in television ratings among all professional sports.
The Victory Lap Route
Start: NASDAQ building -- Times Square
• Travel south on Broadway, turn left on 42nd Street.
• East on 42nd to Madison Avenue.
• Left on Madison and travel north until 46th Street.
• Right turn on 46th Street to Park Avenue.
• Left on Park to NASCAR's New York Office at 52nd Street and Park Avenue.