BUSCH: Bobby Hamilton Jr signs associate sponsor for Chicagoland

Connie's Pizza & ABC Auto Parts race to the finish line as associate sponsors of No. 25 Team Marines Ford Taurus for NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway. Mooresville, NC (July 5, 2002) -- Chicago-based Connie's Pizza and ABC ...

Connie's Pizza & ABC Auto Parts race to the finish line as associate sponsors of No. 25 Team Marines Ford Taurus for NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway.

Mooresville, NC (July 5, 2002) -- Chicago-based Connie's Pizza and ABC Auto Parts have signed on as associate sponsors of the No. 25 Team Marines Ford Taurus driven by Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and owned by two of Chicago's own, Ed Rensi and Gary Weisbaum, when the NASCAR Busch Series heads to the Windy City for the Hills Bros 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 13, 2002. Taking their first jump into the NASCAR Busch Series, the No. 25 Ford Taurus will feature the Connie's Pizza logo on-board.

Rensi and Weisbaum, who have been a long-time patrons of Connie's Pizza, saw an opportunity for a strategic marketing partnership between his race team operation and the legendary pizza chain.

"I have been a patron of Connie's Pizza for over 25 years," said Rensi. "It 's the best pizza Chicago has to offer. When I approached the folks at Connie's about partnering with Team Rensi Motorsports for the NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway, they loved the idea. The campaign is meant to build awareness and drive more traffic to their restaurants. Their logo will be featured on the No. 25 Marines Ford and we will have six show car appearances throughout the week, one at each Connie's Pizza locations."

On Wednesday, July 10, 2002, Bobby Hamilton, Jr., driver of the No. 25 Ford Taurus, will make a special visit to the Connie's Pizza Fox Valley/ Naperville location to sign autographs, greet fans and of course, indulge in one of Connie's delicious pizzas. WJOL will be on-site to giveaway two pairs of tickets, one pair for the NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 13 and one for the Winston Cup event on July 14 with parking passes. Patrons will also have the opportunity to win other Team Marines Racing and Connie's Pizza prizes including cooler bags and T-shirts.

Connie's Pizza was founded in 1963, in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago when the owner sold his '63 Oldsmobile Starfire to purchase a small storefront operation in Southside Chicago. With no funds left to change the sign on the door, it remained Connie's Pizza. After 38 years, the small storefront location is just a fond memory and has made way for new award-winning restaurants and a retail presence in the Chicago market. Today, Connie's is the official pizza at Wrigley Field, Comsikey Park, and the United Center. They have also been voted as "Best Pizza" at the "Taste of Chicago," for three years and counting.

ABC Auto Parts, located in Blue Island, IL, has Chicago's largest inventory of in-stock late model used parts. This will mark the company's second year as an associate sponsor on the No. 25 Team Marines Ford.

In 1999, ABC Auto Parts & Sales, Inc. was awarded the Gold Seal Certification for its superior business practices including quality customer service; quality recycled original equipment; manufacturer parts with accurate descriptions; reliable, on-time deliveries; and written product guarantees.

"Team Rensi is very proud of our association with ABC Auto Parts," said Weisbaum. "We are truly grateful for their support and look forward to continuing our friendship and marketing partnership with them in the future."

ABC Auto Parts owner, Jim Watson, Jr. is looking forward to the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series event at Chicagoland.

"Our involvement in the sport of NASCAR is truly a fun and exciting experience for all of our employees, clients, family and friends," said Jim Watson, Jr., owner of ABC Auto Parts. "We are pleased to be able to continue our partnership with Team Rensi Motorsports.

Team Rensi is having a lot of success this year with their new driver Bobby Hamilton, Jr., so you can imagine how proud we are to have our company name on the side of the No. 25 Team Marines Ford," added Watson, Jr.

Rensi has called the city of Chicago home for over 25 years. Rensi is a prime example of achieving the American dream. He began his career by flipping burgers and washing dishes at McDonald's at the age of 20. With determination and a burning desire to succeed, Rensi worked his way up the corporate ladder and in 1984 became the President and Chief Executive Officer of McDonald's USA. After a fourteen-year stint as President and CEO, Ed retired in 1998 to start up his own race team in the NASCAR Busch Series with his brother Sam.

Weisbaum joined the team as a part owner in 2000. Weisbaum, who owns Performance Promotions Group, a marketing/sales promotions company in Vernon Hills, IL that services a number of Chicago-based Fortune 500 companies, is the marketing force behind Team Rensi Motorsports. It was his passion for the business side of the sport that sparked his interest and ultimately led him to become involved as a team owner.

"I love the "business" of auto racing," says Weisbaum. "It's a great marketing tool that if leveraged effectively can help corporations meet their marketing goals. The marketing partnerships that Team Rensi has developed with Connie's Pizza and ABC Auto Parts have been designed to do just that."

The No. 25 Team Marines/ Connie's Pizza/ ABC Auto Parts Ford Taurus will take the green flag on July 13, 2002 at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joilet, IL.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton