Burton, Davis seeking a sponsor for 1999 HIGH POINT, N.C. (June 25, 1998) Stepping into what has increasingly become a seller's market for established NASCAR teams, Bill Davis, car owner of the No. 22 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pontiacs driven...
Burton, Davis seeking a sponsor for 1999
HIGH POINT, N.C. (June 25, 1998) Stepping into what has increasingly become a seller's market for established NASCAR teams, Bill Davis, car owner of the No. 22 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Pontiacs driven by Ward Burton, has begun the search for a new primary sponsor. MBNA America has decided to end its four-year relationship with Bill Davis Racing following the 1998 season. Davis, whose team enters this weekend's Save Mart/Kragen 350 at Sears Point Raceway in 14th in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series points standings and in second in laps and miles completed this season, feels that his team offers the best possible set of options for a company interested in tapping into NASCAR's fertile marketplace.
"It appears that we will be the only team in the top-25 who will be replacing our sponsor next season, which puts us in a prime position to offer a company a top-10 caliber team that is in place and running at the front each week," Davis said. "We've got one of the sport's best young drivers in Ward Burton, one of the best young crew chiefs in Chris Hussey, an in-house motor program headed by (former head engine builder at Richard Childress Racing) Terry Elledge and Frank Leisson plus 50,000-plus square feet of space that we think ranks with the top facilities in the sport.
"With NASCAR's tremendous growth and popularity, lots of folks outside the industry are looking to get in as owners and that means what we're doing is working. However, this is a difficult business in which to get established and, with 10 years in the sport as an owner for drivers such as Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon and Bobby Labonte, we've got a top program with talented people and top equipment already in place.
"With every year that goes by, I believe the opportunity to sponsor an established front running operation like ours will become more and more coveted by the increasing number of companies who want to increase presence and sales through the NASCAR consumer base. There are a limited number of drivers, crew chiefs and crew members who can get the job done. Existing teams offer immediate results."
Burton is in his fourth season driving for Davis. In 113 starts prior to this season, he had scored one victory, at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham in 1996; four top-fives and 19 top-10s; with three Bud Pole Awards.
In 15 1998 starts, Burton has two top-10 finishes, at Talladega Superspeedway and Michigan Speedway. He won the Bud Pole at Michigan two weeks ago and has won $685,161 in prize money.
Davis emphasizes two additional advantages to the future sponsorship structure at Bill Davis Racing -- significant space availability now for sponsors on the No. 22 Pontiac for companies wanting to get an early start this season toward establishing their long-term presence in the sport and the three-year commitment of Amoco to Davis Racing as a major factor in the operation's future.
"Because MBNA has given us flexibility with the associate sponsor space on the car in 1998," Davis said, "we have space on the car in several prominent areas for a company to come in and begin a long-term program with a half-season this year to get established with their sales force and their consumers."
Amoco is currently the primary sponsor for Davis' NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division program -- a limited schedule being run by driver Dave Blaney in 1998. Amoco, which is also an associate sponsor on the team's NASCAR Winston Cup Series car, plans to assume primary sponsorship of a second NASCAR Winston Cup Series program from the BDR shops in the year 2000, Davis said.
"Already having that kind of infrastructure in place for the future adds to the potential sponsor mix here," Davis said. "Especially if an incoming company is interested in a presence in the 9,000-plus convenience stores Amoco has nationwide.
"The performance advantages of multi-car Winston Cup operations has become obvious. The advantages of having two primary sponsors in a comfortable alliance and the benefit of also having marketing access to two top drivers and teams is also very strong."
Source: NASCAR Online