Pro Cup Rookie Purse to Remain One of the Largest in Motorsports
Miller Lite Rookie of the Year Purse to stay $90,000 for 2006
Longs, SC - While Woody Howard's record take of $59,000 from the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year purse in 2005 may never be duplicated, it won't be the fault of the Milwaukee brewer.
Today, USAR announced Miller Lite is returning as an Official Sponsor of the Hooters Pro Cup Series and will continue to sponsor the Hooters Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year program in 2006, paying out $90,000 during the course of the 30-race schedule.
"Miller Lite has enjoyed a great relationship with the Hooters Pro Cup Series since 1998, and we're pleased to remain the sponsor of the Rookie of the Year program," said Jim Kallies, Miller Brewing Company national accounts manager. "Being involved in the Hooters Pro Cup Series and rookie of the year program has been a fantastic way to deliver the Miller Lite message to race fans across the country, while promoting and rewarding the superior performance of the new drivers."
In 2006, the highest-finishing rookie driver in the North and South will again receive $10,000 for being divisional winners, and Miller Lite will continue to offer $1,000 per race for the top-finishing rookie in all 30 events. The highest rookie in points at the conclusion of the six-race Championship Series will be crowned the 2006 Miller Lite Rookie of the Year and receive a check for $40,000.
Last season, Woody Howard, driver of the No. 55n Dean Motorsports Chevy, grabbed nine Miller Lite Rookie of the Race awards, the Northern Division Rookie of the Year title and the overall Miller Lite Rookie of the Year title, bringing his season-ending total to a gaudy $59,000 in rookie bonuses.
"I can't thank Miller Lite enough for the money they put into the rookie of the year program; it's awesome," said Howard. "The money was great, don't get me wrong, but the recognition was just as big. To be put on the same level as guys like Brian Vickers, Jeff Agnew and Benny Gordon is an honor."
While Howard received many accolades during his rookie season, he wasn't the only rookie to benefit from the ROTY program.
Michael Faulk, driver of the No. 53s LiftOff Ford, grabbed four Miller Lite Rookie of the Race awards and the Southern Division Rookie of the Year title to earn $14,000 in bonuses. All told, 10 different rookies in the 2005 season picked up at least $1,000 from Miller Lite.
"Last year, we saw a great crop of rookies come into our series, and I think a lot of that had to do with the Miller Lite Rookie of the Year program," said Tony Cox, USAR series director. "With help from Hooters of America and Miller Lite, we have been able to increase our payout in the rookie program by 150 percent in the span of three years. Certainly, some of these rookies will continue to climb the ladder like Brian Vickers [the 2000 Miller Lite Rookie of the Year] did, but a lot will call the Hooters Pro Cup Series home for years to come. And that's what we want."