Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight Back Together In 2007 Sprague to Make Run for Unprecedented Fourth Championship FORT WORTH, TEXAS - November 2, 2006 -- Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight, an operating unit of Con-way Inc. (NYSE:CNW), today ...
Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight Back Together In 2007
Sprague to Make Run for Unprecedented Fourth Championship
FORT WORTH, TEXAS - November 2, 2006 -- Wyler Racing and Con-way Freight, an operating unit of Con-way Inc. (NYSE:CNW), today jointly announced the extension of Con-way Freight's partnership with the sponsorship of Wyler's No. 60 Con-way Freight Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series for the 2007 racing season. The announcement was made by Jeff Wyler, owner of Wyler Racing and David McClimon the president of Con-way Freight as they prepared to attend the 23rd race of the Series at the Texas Motor Speedway.
The 2006 season marked the beginning of the partnership between the two companies which, to date, has netted two poles, two wins (Memphis and Martinsville) and great pride among the employees of Con-way Freight.
"The Wyler Team has done a fantastic job for us this season," said McClimon. "The primary reason we invested in this marketing channel was for our employees. We thought they'd relate to a truck driver and the race events are held around the United States. That allowed many of our employees to attend one of the races and they also followed our team on the SPEED channel. Their response to the program has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic."
Wyler Racing also announced that three-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Jack Sprague will be back behind the wheel of the Con-way Freight machine in 2007. Sprague is arguably the greatest driver in the 11-year history of the Craftsman Truck Series with 29 career poles and 27 career wins. He is also the all-time series leader in race winnings, top-fives, top-10's, miles led and miles completed.
"I am really excited that Con-way Freight has extended their relationship with Wyler Racing and their No. 60 Toyota," said Sprague. "I have had a lot of great sponsors during my career and Con-way ranks right up there on the top of the list for me. The cultures of the Wyler's and Con-way organizations are a very good match and I am the lucky driver to work with these two great organizations. Although we have two wins and two poles, we have not had the success that we had hoped for this season and we all look forward to chasing that coveted fourth championship in 2007."
Wyler Racing, which opened its doors in June 2005, has competed in 37 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series events with the two wins and poles with Sprague. In 2006 the team has garnered eight top-five and eleven top 10 finishes.
"We are still relatively new to the ownership side of this sport," stated Wyler Racing owner Jeff Wyler. "But we could not have hand picked a better partner out of the gate than Con-way Freight. Their management is so supportive of this team and the enthusiasm we see each week at the track with their employees and customers is unmatched in this sport. We have had some good times during this first year of our partnership but we look to even greater things in the future between us."
Con-way Freight has over 20,000 employees who are located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. The company said that employees in all three countries followed Sprague through television, radio and the Internet. The pairing with Wyler Racing and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been a win-win with on-track performance and with their employees.
"I've received e-mail contacts from people throughout our network from the day we announced the sponsorship and as the race season has progressed", said Ned Moritz, vice president, marketing for Con-way Inc. "There's has been continuing excitement about the program, and that's just what we wanted. We changed the name and logo of our company this year. We needed a platform that would help unite our employees. The Wyler Team caught their interest and enthusiasm. They got hooked on Jack and he's now part of the family. It's been a great marketing investment."
Con-way extended its use of the Wyler race team by incorporating Sprague and his daughter Paige on a poster they distributed in their annual red ribbon campaign. For seventeen years Con-way Freight has supported the annual anti-drug campaign by having its employees, many with the company's trucks, deliver red ribbons to elementary schools throughout the United States. This year in the annual October period Con-way included posters showing Jack and Paige Sprague with a message to remain drug free.
Another campaign using Sprague's image was used amongst employees to allow them to compete to become "honorary pit crew members" at each of the Series' 25 races. Thousands of cut-outs of Sprague's head and shoulders were printed and distributed to the employees. They were encouraged to be creative and take pictures of themselves with the cardboard Sprague as they were at home, on vacation, visiting friends and family and other fun scenes.
"The creativity was impressive," says Terry Riordan, director of human resources for Con-way Freight. "We'd pick the best three for each race and then send them to Jack Sprague to pick his favorite. We had hundreds of entries. It engaged the employees and was a lot of fun."
The real fun was had by the winners of the contest. Two employees were chosen for each race. They were introduced to the entire Wyler team. Tony Furr, crew chief for the No. 60, and the entire Wyler Racing pit crew took the Con-way employee into the pits during the races and gave them assignments that would support them when they jumped the wall to service the No. 60 truck during a pit stop.
"NASCAR, the Craftsman Truck Series, and the Wyler Team have been a winning combination for Con-way. We've excited our employees, we've found a large NASCAR fan base amongst our customers and we've had a lot of fun," said McClimon. "We're looking forward to another great year of racing in 2007."
Con-way Freight is a transportation and services company that provides day-definite less-than-truckload freight delivery services for commercial and industrial businesses in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and Mexico. All Con-way Freight operating components are ISO certified for 9001 and 14001, C-TPAT/PIP, ACE and CSA certified and FAST highway carriers.
Con-way Freight is a subsidiary of San Mateo, California-based Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $4.2 billion freight transportation, logistics, supply chain management and trailer manufacturing company. Further information about Con-way Freight and additional press releases are available via the Internet at... www.con-way.com.