Hamilton goes trucking with DANA LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 1998) DANA Corporation, a global manufacturer of automotive components based in Toledo, Ohio, announced today it would be the primary sponsor of a team to be owned and fielded by NASCAR ...
Hamilton goes trucking with DANA
LAS VEGAS (Nov. 2, 1998) DANA Corporation, a global manufacturer of automotive components based in Toledo, Ohio, announced today it would be the primary sponsor of a team to be owned and fielded by NASCAR Winston Cup star Bobby Hamilton for three years, beginning with the 1999 NCTS season. The team will field Dodge Rams, with full factory support from Dodge Motorsports, and will carry the familiar blue and white DANA paint scheme and No. 18. The driver of the Bobby Hamilton/DANA entry will be NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series veteran Butch Miller, who handled the driving duties for the DANA Dodge during the 1998 season.
In addition to teaming with Hamilton in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, Dana - one of the founding sponsors of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series - will support Hamilton's NASCAR Winston Cup efforts through an associate sponsorship of the Morgan-McClure Motorsports No. 4 Kodak Max Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo driven by Hamilton.
Under terms of the agreement, DANA will join Morgan-McClure and primary sponsor Kodak beginning with the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season and continue through the 2001 season.
In announcing the relationship with Hamilton, DANA Motorsports manager Armedee Nadeau noted Hamilton's reputation as an innovator and aggressive competitor as primary reasons for forming the partnership.
"I've gotten to know Bobby quite well over the past year or so, and I've been impressed by the vast knowledge he has of what makes a race vehicle work," said Nadeau. "He knows a race car or truck from the ground up, and spends a great deal of his spare time working on innovations to make his team more competitive.
"DANA has been a primary sponsor in the Craftsman Truck Series from its beginning, and we intend to remain in the series for a very long time. We need to move DANA's Craftsman Truck Series program to the next level, and I believe Bobby is the right person to take us there. I have no question that under Bobby's leadership, the DANA team will challenge for the win at every venue in 1999, and be in the thick of the championship battle."
Nadeau also noted the success of Morgan-McClure Motorsports as motivation for DANA's becoming involved with the team.
"We set two goals for DANA's motorsports program for 1999 and beyond," said Nadeau. "We wanted to partner with a team owner with the knowledge and resources that would enable us to compete at the highest level within the truck series, and we wanted to develop an affiliation with a top Winston Cup team.
"After selecting Bobby as our team owner, it was only natural to join forces with Morgan-McClure Motorsports. We can demonstrate DANA's support for Bobby as our team owner in every Winston Cup event, and also gain a valuable link to the technology and innovations developed in the Winston Cup Series for our truck team. Morgan-McClure Motorsports has an outstanding record of performance, and DANA is proud to be associated with them."
Speaking on behalf of Morgan-McClure Motorsports, co-owner Larry McClure recognized the value of the team's association with DANA.
"We're extremely proud to have DANA become a part of our team," said McClure. "DANA has been involved in the Winston Cup Series for a long time through programs operated by their brands, but this is the first time they've gotten involved on a corporate basis. We're proud that they've selected our team to make their presence more visible to the millions of NASCAR fans. Over the years, DANA has developed a wealth of engineering knowledge that can be applied to racing. We're extremely excited about the added value that knowledge will bring to our team, and look forward to a long and successful relationship."
Hamilton doesn't know which to be more excited about: Being affiliated with DANA and Dodge, or the opportunity to access the technology DANA brings to both his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Winston Cup Series efforts.
"A lot of people don't know it, but I've been a MOPAR freak for a long time," said Hamilton. "I've got a collection of MOPAR muscle cars, including two Superbirds, and an original Hemi-powered Superbee. To have the opportunity to team with DANA and Dodge for our truck team is unbelievably exciting for me.
"I know we can make Dodge a winner in the truck series on a regular basis. I've taken a look at their program and all the right components are there. We've just got to work on getting them put together in the most effective combination. DANA is going to be a tremendous asset in accomplishing this. As I've gotten to know more about DANA, and everything they're involved in, I've been amazed at the depth of technology they have in racing.
"Not only is DANA supporting my truck team and the Morgan-McClure team financially, we've got full access to their technology, which will assist us in making both teams more competitive. The financial support from a sponsor is vital to being able to field a competitive team in any NASCAR series. The technology DANA brings to our efforts is an added bonus that not many sponsors have the ability to provide, and makes DANA a true partner in everything we accomplish with either team."
Matching Hamilton's level of enthusiasm for DANA's new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team, Miller feels like the proverbial kid in the candy store.
"The first time I sat down and talked with Bobby about this deal, I knew I wanted to drive for him," said Miller. "He and I think alike and have the same goals. We're both racers, want to win, and are willing to do whatever it takes to do so. I'm absolutely convinced Bobby will put together a program that will have the DANA Dodge running in the front and battling for victories, right from the start.
"Running up front, and racing for the win, that's what racing is all about, and that's where I want to be. I'm so excited about this new team and its prospects that I know I'm going to be a basket case by the time next March rolls around, just from the anticipation of how well I know we're going to run. Dodge has stepped up their commitment for 1999, so I know we're going to have the right equipment, and Bobby is committed to putting together a team that will have us in victory lane next year. I can't wait to get started."
The 1999 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series begins on March 20 with the Homestead 400 at the Miami-Dade Homestead Motor Sports Complex.
Source: NASCAR Online