Belmont, Year One to enter Daytona 500

YEAR ONE GOES LEFT-HAND RACING FOR A SECOND SEASON Year One Sponsors Andy Belmont's NEXTEL Cup and ARCA Cars So what do you do when you find yourself in possession of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car that was used in a qualifying bid for the Daytona...

YEAR ONE GOES LEFT-HAND RACING FOR A SECOND SEASON

Year One Sponsors Andy Belmont's NEXTEL Cup and ARCA Cars

So what do you do when you find yourself in possession of a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup car that was used in a qualifying bid for the Daytona 500? You have a couple of options: you can let it sit on display, firing it up for the occasional car show and publicity photo, or you can lease it to a professional race team and make a stab at qualifying for the Big One again. For 2006, Year One has teamed up with Andy Belmont for a run at the Daytona 500, and has also signed on to sponsor Belmont's No. 1 Ford ARCA car for the entire season.

Year One is one of the country's largest sellers of restoration and performance parts for vintage and later model muscle cars. Having their company name on a NEXTEL Cup or Busch car wasn't an option they thought was available to them. "We're a big small company," said Kevin King, president of Year One. "We didn't think sponsoring a car was something we'd ever be able to do. Last year, we had the opportunity to sponsor Derrike Cope's No. 55, and later purchased the car from him." The car remained on display at Year One's Braselton, GA headquarters in exactly as-raced condition for the next 10 months, until a mutual friend introduced King and Belmont.

Belmont, driver of the No. 1 ARCA car, was the 1987 NASCAR Dash Series Rookie of the Year, 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Runner Up, and 1988 NASCAR Dash Series Champion Team Owner. As driver of the No. 1 ARCA car, Belmont finished in the Top 10 ARCA Championship Points six years straight from 1998 and 2002.

"It's just exciting for me because I'm a car buff," Belmont said. "We have our own toys that we play with, and we do some customer work here on hot rods. For me, it was just a really neat thing." Belmont is a friend of Derrike Cope, who had a similar sponsorship program with Year One in 2005. This past December, Belmont was in Braselton, Georgia as Master of Ceremonies for their Christmas Parade, and saw Year One's project cars drive by. "When I saw Year One's gold Nova project car, I was just blown away." King and Belmont were introduced, one thing led to another, and a sponsorship program was developed. "For guys like me that are gear heads, this is heaven!"

"We're excited," said King. "For us, with the popularity of NASCAR racing, and the amount of coverage and airtime it gets, from qualifying to the Gatorade Duel to the 200 and the 500 races, it is some of the greatest exposure you can get." It's a great fit for Year One, and is also a good opportunity to bring more enthusiasts into the hobby--a lot of NASCAR fans like muscle cars, and seeing a supplier of muscle car parts running in the NEXTEL and ARCA series is a good way to encourage more enthusiasts to start that project they've always wanted. "It gets the muscle car hobby out to a lot of people who may not otherwise think they could be involved," said King. "Getting fans to think about that classic muscle car they've always wanted, or making them remember that car they had, or the one their friend had in high school, is what this is all about."

-www.yearone.com

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Derrike Cope , Andy Belmont