Harrah's Entertainment to sponsor Larry Foyt in Winston Cup; deal returns legendary name to track in auto racing's premier series. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 14 -- Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) today announced it will serve as primary...
Harrah's Entertainment to sponsor Larry Foyt in Winston Cup; deal returns legendary name to track in auto racing's premier series.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Jan. 14 -- Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:HET) today announced it will serve as primary sponsor of driver Larry Foyt in NASCAR's Winston Cup Series. The sponsorship will introduce the Harrah's name to 40 million loyal Winston Cup race fans and will put the Foyt name back behind the wheel in auto racing's premier series.
Under the terms of the sponsorship deal, Foyt will drive the No. 14 Harrah's Dodge Intrepid for A.J. Foyt Racing, the team owned by the 25-year- old rookie's father and racing legend. The younger Foyt will make his Winston Cup race debut Feb. 16 at the Daytona 500 -- a race his father won in 1972.
"We're thrilled to return the Foyt name to the ranks of NASCAR Winston Cup drivers and, in so doing, introduce the Harrah's brand to the millions of enthusiastic racing fans who enjoy casino gaming," said Gary Loveman, Harrah's president and chief executive officer. "This sponsorship is the next step in a winning tradition that brings together two of the biggest names in racing and gaming: Foyt and Harrah's."
The deal announced today marks a new milestone in the relationship between the casino company, auto racing and the Foyt family.
Harrah's broke into professional motorsports in 1997, when it first served as a sponsor for one of the elder Foyt's teams in the Indy Racing League (IRL). Harrah's continued its Foyt-IRL relationship until 2001, when it became Larry Foyt's title sponsor in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series. Harrah's also sponsored Larry Foyt's car in the American Speed Association (ASA) in 2000 while continuing to serve as sponsor for A.J. Foyt Racing in the IRL.
"Going from running my own team in Busch to driving for my father in Winston Cup is a huge step for me," said Larry Foyt. "There's no question this year will be a challenge, but the lessons I learned last year will be a huge help, as will the continuing support of Harrah's."
Larry Foyt's best NASCAR finish -- 8th place -- came at Talladega Superspeedway in 2002. He scored a career-best Busch Series qualifying effort -- fifth -- the year before at Michigan International Speedway, and turned in the fastest lap ever by an ASA car at Winchester (Indiana) Speedway in 2000.
"Larry has grown up around racing, and he knows it can be a tough business, especially at this level," said A.J. Foyt. "He has all the skills he needs to succeed, and he'll gain more experience with every race. He's got a tremendous will to win, and I think he's going to surprise a lot of people with his consistency."
Founded 65 years ago, Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. operates 26 casinos in the United States, primarily under the Harrah's brand name. Harrah's Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its target customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Additional information about Harrah's Entertainment is available at www.harrahs.com.