2001 March race gains title sponsor

LAS VEGAS - The United Auto Workers and DaimlerChrysler, two groups steeped in motorsports tradition, have acquired title-sponsorship rights to the NASCAR Winston Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race, set in 2001 for March 4, will be ...

LAS VEGAS - The United Auto Workers and DaimlerChrysler, two groups steeped in motorsports tradition, have acquired title-sponsorship rights to the NASCAR Winston Cup event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The race, set in 2001 for March 4, will be called the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400.

The announcement was made today at the Showcase Mall beside the MGM Grand overlooking the famous Las Vegas Strip.

The UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 will be the third NASCAR Winston Cup event of the 2001 season and the fourth annual event at LVMS. It will begin at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time and will be televised by FOX Sports.

"Today's announcement marks a landmark day in the history of Las Vegas Motor Speedway," said Chris Powell, LVMS executive vice president and general manager. "Our partnership with the United Auto Workers and DaimlerChrysler sets Las Vegas Motor Speedway apart from other facilities. UAW is a group rich in history and tradition in motorsports. DaimlerChrysler is one of the world's most innovative and recognizable automobile manufacturers. Together, we will make the UAW-Daimler-Chrysler 400 on March 4, 2001, the best NASCAR Winston Cup event yet in Las Vegas.

UAW, which has 1,086 local unions nationally ranging in size from fewer than 100 members to locals with more than 15,000 members, has been a sponsor since 1995 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. "We are really excited about our commitment to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 2001 and the opportunity to sponsor one of the top races of the year," said Nate Gooden, vice president and director of UAW-DaimlerChrysler. "We have our annual meetings here in Las Vegas in the winter and summit training meetings in the fall, so we felt the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 was an ideal opportunity to link the UAW-DaimlerChrysler name with both Las Vegas and NASCAR. It's a great match."

DaimlerChrysler announced in the fall of 1999 that it was returning to NASCAR Winston Cup racing beginning with the 2001 season with its Dodge Intrepid. The Dodge brand had a successful run in the early days of NASCAR, amassing 160 victories and two manufacturers' titles with drivers such as Lee and Richard Petty, Buddy Baker and David Pearson.

More recently, DaimlerChrysler has enjoyed motorsports success in many areas. The Dodge Ram has posted several triumphs in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. The Dodge Viper has become the top American endurance car of all time, having won the last three FIA championships, the last two 24 Hours of Le Mans competitions in class, and the 1999 American Le Mans Series title. Dodge's Neon racing program has been the most prolific grassroots program in Sports Car Club of America history with 31 national championships. Racing partner Mopar took its first World of Outlaws series title in 1999.

"In addition to our title sponsorship of the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400, we are extending our at-track presence as well," said John Franciosi, senior vice president of employee relations for DaimlerChrysler. "Our race track exhibit provided by UAW-DaimlerChrysler/NTC will provide race fans with the opportunity to interact with our Winston Cup racing efforts next year. The sponsorship and our racing efforts show how committed UAW-DaimlerChrysler is to achieving excellence on the race track and in the workplace."

The NASCAR Winston Cup event at Las Vegas annually draws a crowd of more than 130,000 people with another 20 million watching worldwide on television. In 1999, the race garnered a 6.0 television rating, second only that year to the Daytona 500.

The Orleans Pole Day for the UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 is set for Friday, March 2. The Sam's Town 300 NASCAR Busch Series event will be Saturday, March 3. There also will be three nights of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws at LVMS's half-mile dirt track on March 1-3.

Jeff Burton won the past two NASCAR Winston Cup events at LVMS. The Virginia native pocketed $1,3588,965 for his victory this year, including the $1 million Winston No Bull 5 bonus. In 2001, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Kenny Wallace and Joe Nemechek will have a chance for the No Bull 5 bonus at LVMS.

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About this article
Series Automotive , NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Joe Nemechek , Kenny Wallace , Richard Petty , Buddy Baker