Earnhardt Jr. renews with Budweiser. Recent Daytona 500 Winner Signs Multi-Year Deal; Popular Driver Has Driven For "The King of Beers" Since 1999. ORLANDO (Feb. 9, 2004) -- Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) officials announced today at...
Earnhardt Jr. renews with Budweiser.
Recent Daytona 500 Winner Signs Multi-Year Deal; Popular Driver Has Driven For "The King of Beers" Since 1999.
ORLANDO (Feb. 9, 2004) -- Budweiser and Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) officials announced today at Anheuser-Busch's annual national sales convention that NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. has renewed his sponsorship agreement with Budweiser through a multi-year extension.
"Budweiser's sponsorship of Dale Jr. gives us a proven winner on and off the track with a celebrity who is easily connected to Budweiser and highly recognizable among adult beer drinkers," said Tony Ponturo, vice president, Global Media & Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "Dale Jr.'s popularity reaches a great number of racing fans including many of our wholesalers, brewery workers and retailers through his winning record, contemporary appeal and confidence as a driver."
Earnhardt Jr., the winner of the Daytona 500 on Feb. 15, has driven the #8 Budweiser Chevrolet since 1999. That season, he appeared in a limited schedule of five NASCAR Winston Cup Series events while racing full-time in the NASCAR Busch Series.
"It's really cool to be sponsored by Budweiser because of the great history they have in motorsports," said Earnhardt Jr. "Anheuser-Busch has supported my career since I drove in the Busch Series where I won a couple of titles, and they've been with me every step of the way since then."
Earnhardt Jr., who has 10 wins in 150 career starts, finished a personal best third in the season points race last year behind series champion Matt Kenseth and runner-up Jimmie Johnson. He finished 2003 with two victories at Talladega, Ala. on April 6 and at Phoenix on Nov. 2 -- in 36 races.
He began racing a full schedule in NASCAR's top circuit in 2000 and finished as runner-up for the series rookie of the year award.
Budweiser first sponsored a team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 1983, and seven years ago, Budweiser became the "Official Beer of NASCAR," cementing the brand's place among stock car racing's elite sponsors.
Budweiser also sponsors the Bud Pole Award in 11 NASCAR racing divisions, as well as the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona for top NASCAR Nextel Cup Series drivers.
In 1983, Budweiser sponsored NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Terry Labonte. The following year, the brand joined legendary team owner Junior Johnson and drivers Darrell Waltrip and Neil Bonnett. Waltrip won the NASCAR Winston Cup Series title for the "King of Beers" in 1985.
In 1992, driver Bill Elliott took the wheel of Johnson's Budweiser car and won five events, including four in a row. Ultimately, Elliott finished second to the late Alan Kulwicki in the closest season championship finish in series history. Ken Schrader, Ricky Craven and Wally Dallenbach have also worn the Budweiser red and white in recent years.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Budweiser Chevrolet bears number eight, the same number used by his grandfather, NASCAR legend Ralph Earnhardt. The elder Earnhardt is a member of the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and was named as one of the top-50 drivers in NASCAR's first 50 years. The number eight also is significant as it was on Dale Earnhardt's car when he began his NASCAR Winston Cup Series career in 1975.
Budweiser also supports NHRA Top Fuel driver Brandon Bernstein and Miss Budweiser unlimited hydroplane driver Dave Villwock.