Blaney adds Shootout, Daytona 200 sponsor

Whelen to sponsor Blaney at Daytona Speedweeks; Blaney will run Shootout, Daytona 500 with Whelen, USA Bobsled decals. Chester, Conn. - Whelen Engineering, a great American company, announced today it will celebrate its 50th anniversary by ...

Whelen to sponsor Blaney at Daytona Speedweeks; Blaney will run Shootout, Daytona 500 with Whelen, USA Bobsled decals.

Chester, Conn. - Whelen Engineering, a great American company, announced today it will celebrate its 50th anniversary by participating in the great American race - the Daytona 500.

Whelen will be the primary sponsor on the #23 Dodge driven by Dave Blaney for the Bill Davis Racing team in both the Bud Shootout on Feb. 7 and the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15.

"Finding a sponsor is always good news, but to work with a company I already have a relationship with like Whelen is even better. This is about as good of news as I have heard in a long time," said Blaney who reunites with the BDR team where he raced fulltime in 2000 and 2001.

"This proves that there's still a place in this sport for businesses that don't have millions and millions of dollars to spend, but who really understand the value racing brings to their customers and employees."

The Daytona agreement is in addition to Whelen's plans for a 10-race Busch Series schedule with Blaney and Ted Marsh Racing in 2004.

"Last year was my first year with Ted's team and we had some good runs so combining for a second year should be even better," Blaney said. "We still want to get the Whelen car to victory lane and we don't care if we do it in the Busch Series or the Nextel Cup Series."

Veteran Philippe Lopez will serve as Blaney's crew chief at Daytona with the pit crew supplied by BDR. Blaney will join teammate Scott Wimmer as BDR entries at Daytona. BDR will field trucks for Bill Lester and Shelby Howard in the 2004 Craftsman Truck Series and Kenny Wallace in the Busch Series.

"We are very happy with our driver lineup this season and really pleased Whelen joins us at Daytona with Dave," Davis said. "We hope Dave's success at Daytona leads to more opportunities like this."

Blaney won't be the only driver or racer with a special interest in the Whelen Dodge at Daytona. The 1986 Daytona 500 Champion Geoffrey Bodine along with members of the USA Bobsled team will watch intently.

Whelen has long supported Bodine's and modified car builder Bob Cuneo's efforts to increase the resources the USA Bobsled program needs to compete with the foreign teams in Olympic and World Cup events. Cuneo and Bodine initiated research and development of the Bo-Dyn ("Bo" for Bodine and "Dyn" for Bob's Chassis Dynamics Company) Bobsleds the USA team races. Cuneo builds these bobsleds in his Oxford, Connecticut shop.

Whelen is a financial backer of Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc. and will place the organization's decals on the quarter panels of Blaney's car during Speedweeks.

Phil Kurze, Director of Motorsports for Whelen, said joining Blaney and BDR Racing for Daytona was too good of an opportunity to pass up. He also said Whelen hopes its good fortune will pay dividends on the track and in the business world as well as help out America's bobsledders.

"Who would have ever thought that we at Whelen would ever have the opportunity to be on a car in one of the biggest races in the world," asked Kurze. "To say we are thrilled would be an understatement. We think our employees and customers will be stunned by this announcement."

Kurze said raising money for the bobsledders is a way for the Connecticut-based company to give back to the community.

"In our business we compete with foreign companies every day and we know the support they get from their governments and the special advantages they sometimes enjoy that American companies often don't get. So, we have taken extra interests in the bobsled program because we need to show the world that businesses can support our team and that we can compete and win at this level."

Whelen hopes to attract other corporations to help fund the bobsled team's effort to garner a gold medal in 2006 Olympics in Torino, Italy. Anyone interested in joining Whelen and assisting the bobsled team may do so by visiting the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, Inc. website at www.bodynbobsledproject.com.

Whelen is also a household name to race fans across America. Whelen is a contingency sponsor of the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series and it provides emergency lights for safety vehicles, tracks and pace cars to NASCAR, ASA, ARCA, IRL, CART, IROC, SCCA, and The World of Outlaws.

-wm/bdr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Geoffrey Bodine , Kenny Wallace , Shelby Howard , Scott Wimmer , Bill Lester , Dave Blaney
Teams Bill Davis Racing