Benson to run Univerity logo at Atlanta

Valvoline to Feature University of Kentucky Logo On Benson's Car in NASCAR Race The new anniversary logo marking the 100th season of Kentucky basketball will adorn Johnny Benson's Valvoline-sponsored Pontiac in the NASCAR Winston Cup race in ...

Valvoline to Feature University of Kentucky Logo On Benson's Car in NASCAR Race

The new anniversary logo marking the 100th season of Kentucky basketball will adorn Johnny Benson's Valvoline-sponsored Pontiac in the NASCAR Winston Cup race in Atlanta. The Lexington-based automotive products company and UK today announced the logo will appear on the hood of Benson's car during the Oct. 27 NAPA 500 race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"Valvoline has been a great corporate citizen of Kentucky and has been an innovative marketer for many years and now has offered to pay tribute to our championship tradition in basketball," said Mitch Barnhart, UK Athletics Director. "It's a merger of two championship programs in one of America's hottest sports. I'm sure the greatest fans in college basketball will be cheering for Johnny and the No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac that day."

"Valvoline is a proud Kentucky company and we wanted to nationally honor Kentucky basketball, something all Kentuckians hold dear to our hearts," said Jim Rocco, Senior Vice President. "We hope Johnny can give the UK fans a thrill or two like UK basketball has provided us for the last 100 years."

Benson, a Michigan native, knows the importance Kentucky basketball plays to many Valvoline customers and employees. He hopes it will also help him claim that first victory he is looking for in Winston Cup racing.

"A Michigan guy with a Kentucky basketball hood -- that should cover all of our bases shouldn't it?" asked Benson. "With Kentucky fans and Michigan fans rooting for us we should have a good day. If we win I'll be the biggest Kentucky basketball fan in Michigan."

The Wildcats, who own seven NCAA Championships and more wins than any other team in college basketball, will be celebrating their 100th season in 2002-03. Valvoline Racing, The University of Kentucky, and The Collegiate Licensing Company are collectively managing a licensing program surrounding this unique alliance.

"The key to a successful licensing program is passion and we believe that the combination of Kentucky basketball and NASCAR will lead to some dynamic new opportunities for licensees and retailers," said Rick Thompson, Associate Athletics Director at the University of Kentucky Athletics Department.

Items soon to be available include die cast vehicles (Racing Champions), apparel (Red Oak Sportswear), Trackside (Sports Design), gifts & novelties (Hunter Manufacturing). In addition, Hi-Rev of Charlotte, NC designed the logo and paint scheme and will market a line of souvenirs incorporating the 100th season logo and car design.

A portion of all proceeds will benefit the University of Kentucky Athletics Association. NBC will televise the race at noon ET.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson