Report from Motorsport News International NASCAR Public Relations Western Auto, Waltrip to part ways HARRISBURG, N.C. (April 29, 1997) Western Auto Parts America announced today that a shift in marketing focus will end its role as...
Report from Motorsport News International
NASCAR Public Relations
Western Auto, Waltrip to part ways
HARRISBURG, N.C. (April 29, 1997) Western Auto Parts America announced today that a shift in marketing focus will end its role as primary sponsor of Darrell Waltrip's NASCAR Winston Cup Series team at the conclusion of the 1997 season. The Waltrip and Western Auto relationship began in 1991 as the three-time NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion made the transition from driver owner/driver in NASCAR's premier division. Fielding Chevrolet Monte Carlos out of his Darrell Waltrip Motorsports race shop, Waltrip has driven the No. 17 Western Auto machine to Victory Lane five times and collected 27 top-5 and 65 top-10 finishes so far in their seven-year relationship. "The Parts America NASCAR sponsorship role will change after Darrell's Silver Anniversary season," said Brian Kelly, vice president of marketing for the Kansas City, Mo.-based automotive aftermarket supplier. "The Western Auto Parts America family is proud to have been a part of his career over the past seven years. We are currently exploring opportunities to continue a strong relationship with Darrell in the future. More than a great competitor and a great ambassador, he is a true partner." Western Auto Parts America will maintain an extensive involvement in motorsports.
"Race fans are critical to Parts America so racing must remain a vital part of our marketing mix," Kelly said. Besides the primary sponsorship of Waltrip, Parts America is the primary sponsor of Shelly and Randy Anderson in the NHRA Top Fuel and Funny Car divisions, respectively. Parts America is the Official Auto Parts Store of NASCAR and the NHRA and sponsors NASCAR's Western Auto Mechanic of the Race and Mechanic of the Year programs. Other motorsports properties include the Western Auto Mechanics Hall of Fame program as well as Daytona USA, a fully interactive motorsports attraction. "We are committed to and enthusiastic about a successful 25 anniversary season with Darrell," Kelly said.
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