H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler statement on Nextel announcement CONCORD, N.C. (June 19, 2003) - A statement from H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and president and general manager of Lowe's...
H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler statement on Nextel announcement
CONCORD, N.C. (June 19, 2003) - A statement from H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler, president and chief operating officer of Speedway Motorsports Inc. and president and general manager of Lowe's Motor Speedway, concerning NASCAR's introduction of Nextel as the new title sponsor of its premier stock car racing series follows:
H.A. "Humpy" Wheeler: "The Nextel announcement is a real breath of fresh air. Our good friends at Winston have been so saddled by regulation that it made for a difficult environment. This clears the air and brings us a partner that is a huge player in the enormous communications industry.
"This will do a number of things. First, we believe they will be open to new ideas that will make this sport even stronger. Second, it gives our television network partners a vital anchor advertiser. It's only a little over a year and half before negotiations on a new TV contract begin, so the timing is outstanding.
"Third, it gives us a strong marketing boost among our current and potential new advertisers. Fourth, it assures our current car owners and drivers a strong financial future and this will in turn make for better racing and, after all, that is what we are all about!
"While we welcome our new sponsor, we must reflect on the tremendous influence R.J. Reynolds has had over the last 31 years. After losing three of the four major companies in the great 'factory racing' days of the 1960s, they rescued us in a dire time of need, dressed us up and took us to town. They cared and nurtured us. Put the heat on us when we didn't do right. Jumped in when we cried help. Put their money where their mouth was and served as the lubricant for the red hot growth. To say we will miss them is an understatement. Perhaps in the long history of American motorsports they may simply have been the best.
"In regard to changing The Winston to the NASCAR All-Star Race presented by Nextel, I believe that history suggests there's no place but Lowe's Motor Speedway that can do that event justice. We look forward to working with NASCAR and Nextel to keep the all-star event here for 2004 and beyond."