WOO news 97-09-26

Smith to Sign Sponsorship Contract at National Open MECHANICSBURG, PA (September 26) - Williams Grove Speedway has always been a special place for Stevie Smith. The two-time National Open champion will add another sweet memory October ...

Smith to Sign Sponsorship Contract at National Open

MECHANICSBURG, PA (September 26) - Williams Grove Speedway has always been a special place for Stevie Smith. The two-time National Open champion will add another sweet memory October 4th when, in a pre-race ceremony, he signs a sponsorship contract with a Fortune 500 company. "The fans at 'The Grove' hold a special place in our hearts," Smith said recently. "Teaming up with this sponsorship will be one of the proudest accomplishments of my racing career, and it will be an honor to have the central Pennsylvania fans be a part of it." Tailfeather Press, a York, PA, firm, markets Smith Racing. Marketing Manager Randy Turner declines to reveal who the sponsor will be, but notes "the company is huge and ranks first or second in every market they compete in worldwide." What Smith has accomplished in 1997 without a sponsor on the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series tour is phenomenal. His 43 top- 10 finishes through the first 61 events include "A" Feature victories at Orange County Speedway, State Fair Speedway and Red River Valley Speedway. These accomplishments have come through the innovation, hard work and perseverance of the team's core - Stevie, his father, Steve, wife, Kendra, and Devin Deluzio. "The team's new sponsor was built the same way," Turner says. "The full impact of this marketing partnership won't be felt this year, but I know 1998 and 1999 will be seasons to remember." WoO

World of Outlaws Mourns Wirgten's Passing

NASHVILLE, TN (September 25) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series is joining the employees of Wirtgen in mourning the untimely death of Reinhard Wirtgen, the company's founder and chairman. Wirtgen, 56, died early on the morning of September 20th in a single-car accident in Hungary. Wirtgen, an avid hunter and fisherman, was on a deer hunting trip. There were no witnesses to the accident. Wirtgen GmbH is a privately held company owned by Reinhard and his wife, Gisela. Reinhard and Gisela have two sons, Stefan and Jurgen. The world's largest manufacturer of highway maintenance equipment was founded in 1961 in Winghagen, Germany. Wirtgen Gmbh, whose North American branch is based in Nashville, builds milling machines for asphalt and concrete, and hot and cold in-place recycling equipment. With sales subsidiaries all over the world, Wirtgen grosses more than $350 million annually. Wirtgen has sponsored the #5M Maxim driven by Mark Kinser on the Pennzoil World of Outlaws tour for the last four years. "He was a very dear, personal friend," Wirtgen America President Stu Murray said Wednesday. "I had a very close partnership arrangement with him. We worked very closely together for seven years. He was a very special man. The company has been paralyzed since Reinhard's death. "He was a self-made millionaire, but you wouldn't know that. He had a heart as big as anybody, the nicest person I ever met." Murray said while Mr. Wirtgen had a simple office that was sparsely decorated, a die cast model of the #5M Wirtgen Maxim sat prominently on his desk. Murray also said Wirtgen competed in moto-cross in his younger days. During his visits to the Nashville office, Murray said Wirtgen often climbed into the #5M Wirtgen Maxim show car. Although he didn't understand sprint car racing, Murray said Wirtgen enjoyed the sport. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser
Teams Williams