USAR: Series news 2008-03-07

Greased Lightning Takes Title Rights to Southern Division The Hooters Pro Cup Series and Greased Lightning announced today that the Southern Division will be titled the "Hooters Pro Cup Greased Lightning Southern Division" in 2008. Greased ...

Greased Lightning Takes Title Rights to Southern Division

The Hooters Pro Cup Series and Greased Lightning announced today that the Southern Division will be titled the "Hooters Pro Cup Greased Lightning Southern Division" in 2008.

Greased Lightning will join Sears Auto Center, the Northern Division title sponsor, as division sponsors for the upcoming season.

"We are certainly happy to have Greased Lightning back for another year, but we're extremely pleased about the increased involvement," said Gene Cox, USAR President. "Having a company like Greased Lightning help grow our racing brand is exciting. Over the years, they have been a great partner both on and off the track, whether it is through at-track displays or setting up visits with underprivileged children. We're thrilled to have them become the 2008 Southern Division sponsor."

As part of the agreement, Greased Lightning will remain the "Official Cleaning Product" of the Hooters Pro Cup Series and have on-site sampling at all USAR events, including Northern Division races throughout the 2008 season. In addition, Greased Lightning will have title rights to three events and bring back the Greased Lightning "Clean Team," a bonus program for selected drivers. Cash bonuses will be awarded for the highest-finishing and highest-qualifying "Clean Team" driver at each event, as well as for highest point system totals at the end of the season.

"We are excited to be revving up our sponsorship with the Southern Division this season," said Helmut Baker, vice president of household chemicals, HomeCare Labs. "USAR fans are a fun, dedicated group, and we can't wait to join them for another great year of exciting racing events."

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Longhorn Returns as Official Sponsor
"Win from the Pole" Award to pay $500

The Hooters Pro Cup Series is pleased to announce that Longhorn, a leading value-priced moist snuff brand manufactured by Richmond, Va. based Swedish Match, will return to the series as the "Official Tobacco Sponsor" for the 2008 season.

"We're certainly excited that Longhorn will continue to support the Hooters Pro Cup Series for a third season," said Gene Cox, USAR President. "Swedish Match has a long history of supporting motorsports, and we're extremely glad to have them return to our family of sponsors. Longhorn's midway display was always one of the most visited attractions at the race."

Longhorn is the fastest growing moist snuff brand in the U.S. and offers one of the best consumer values in the moist snuff category by providing consumers premium quality moist snuff at an everyday low price.

"Our partnership with USAR Hooters Pro cup has been tremendously successful," said Charlie Kivett, brand manager for Longhorn. "Sponsoring a short track racing series allows us to connect with our adult consumers through one of their favorite pastimes."

As part of its sponsorship, Longhorn will continue to offer the "Win from the Pole" Award, paying $500 to the driver that wins a race from the pole, take title rights to the Hickory (N.C.) event and continue at-track sampling to adult consumers.

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Deiny Jr. Joins Mac Hill Motorsports

Frank Deiny Jr. will once again chase the championship in the Hooters Pro Cup Series. But this year, he'll do it with a new team. Deiny, a rookie in 2007, is moving over to Mac Hill Motorsports this season and the Rock Bridge Tobacco Corporation, manufacturer of Tahoe Smokeless, will return as Deiny's primary sponsor for the upcoming season on the No. 56s Chevrolet.

Deiny, a newcomer to the series in 2007, made quite a statement during his rookie year. Deiny set a new track record during qualifying at Tahoe Smokeless' home track of South Boston Speedway, earning him the pole award and rookie of the race honors. He also led the sixth most laps in the series and finished the season as the fourth highest rookie and 12th over all in the Southern Division Standings. Now moving into his second season, Deiny is in a position to start strong and to be a driver to watch in 2008.

Deiny, driving the eye-catching intense green and black Tahoe Smokeless branded car, is eager to begin his sophomore season on March 15 at the Southern Division opener at USA International Speedway, Lakeland, Fla. He is confident that he has found a winning combination and is quoted as saying, "I look forward to working with Mac Hill Motorsports and Tahoe Smokeless. Both organizations are tops in their industries. I am honored to be associated with such outstanding individuals."

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Pro Cup Digest Launched
New site has something for everyone

Ever wondered who won the first Hooters Pro Cup Series event? There are probably some people out there, besides the guy who won, that could actually tell you. But thanks to Lou and Cheryl Lauer, of USARFans.com, the answer is available for everyone with a simple click of the mouse on the newly-released Pro Cup Digest website.

Fans, drivers and teams can browse hundreds of pages of Pro Cup facts. The website contains detailed race results, schedules, pole winners, points standings, individual statistics track facts and past champions dating back to the inaugural Pro Cup season in 1997. The site also has "Widgets," automated modules that websites can add to their site for free to provide schedule and points information, for webmasters to link. But best of all, everything is provide for FREE.

"The site is absolutely amazing," said Tony Cox, USAR Series Director. "We are very lucky to have people like Lou and Cheryl, who spend their own time and money to support us, around the series. There is no substitute for word-of-mouth marketing, and Lou and Cheryl have been spreading the word for years."

Actually, it's been nearly a decade.

"The first USAR race I saw live was at Hickory in 1999," said Lauer. "My wife, Cheryl, and I had seen several other USAR races on television and the style of racing was exactly what we were looking for. Short-track racing, no holding back for the final few laps, the driver determines who wins and not the car."

After being exposed to Hooters Pro Cup racing, the Lauers wanted to know more about the drivers and series. His interest is what led to the start of USARfans.com.

"The racing world was geared towards the coverage of NASCAR and fans were missing out on hearing more about the Hooters Pro Cup Series," said Lauer. "The series website provided some news and information, but I felt there was a need that we could help fill for race fans and even for smaller teams. In 2003, we started another site dedicated to the series - www.usarfans.com - and began to post as much news, photos, and general information about the series that we could. We're just race fans when it comes down to it, filling a 'media' roll was never our intent or goal.

"As the folks at USAR kept seeing us hanging around the tracks more and more, they graciously welcomed us into their world and have treated us like family. There can't be a harder working group of people in racing than the staff and officials for the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series and it's been a pleasure to even be thought of as being associated with them."

With the success and growth of USARfans.com, Lauer turned his attention to a pet project; if you can call building a database full of stats a pet project.

"My real job is in the computer field so my interests outside of racing involve those sort of "geeky" areas! I wanted to learn more about databases and programming skills and had also always been interested in racing statistics," said Lauer. "There was some information about the USAR Series out there to be found, but I thought this would be a great opportunity for me to combine two goals at once. After the 2006 racing season ended, I started to work on the www.procupdigest.com website to be the home for this new project. The task was a lot more difficult than I imagined and made me understand why it hadn't already been done! But, after a long year of struggling with my inadequate database 'skills' and a lot of hours spent searching the Internet for data, it's all starting to fall into place and become something usable for fans and teams.

"It's no secret that Pro Cup racing has a firm grip on our lives and we've always felt that many race fans and sponsors were missing out on a great opportunity to be involved," added Lauer. "Knowledge is the key, and I hope that the ProCupDigest.com website can provide more of that knowledge to fans of the sport. If this can help the Pro Cup Series in any way, then it's done its job. Having more fans of the Pro Cup Series is a win-win situation for fans, teams, sponsors, and the series."

So what's next for ProCupDigest.com?

"Well there are plenty of areas that still need a little bit more work, so I expect that this project will always be a 'work in progress,'" said Lauer. "Visitors will quite often see things change on a regular basis as more new data is added to the site and more of the existing data gets wrenched on and made available for viewing. There's plenty of room for improvement, but I think what's there right now is a decent starting point. I'd be remiss if I did not mention that none of this would have ever happened without the cooperation of the folks at the USAR Series. They've been more than accommodating by providing me with as much historical information as they had and have been extremely generous with their time and patience.

"The data was one area, the technical knowledge is another. Darren Fauth is a race fan from Texas who operates a website providing statistics for the NASCAR series - www.onebadwheel.com - and he generously provided his time and technical expertise which got the site rolling and he continues to help whenever I ask. Before the ProCupDigest.com site began, Darren did not know much, if anything, about the USAR Series and I'm happy to say that he knows a lot about it now and has even begun to catch the races on TV, so there's one fan down, a few more to go!"

-credit: usar

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