Carino's Italian Grill Partners with 18 Year-Old Coleman and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Team CONCORD, N.C., (Jan 24, 2007) -- Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that Carino's Italian Grill will sponsor ARCA standout Brad Coleman and the No.
Carino's Italian Grill Partners with 18 Year-Old Coleman and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Team
CONCORD, N.C., (Jan 24, 2007) -- Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) announced today that Carino's Italian Grill will sponsor ARCA standout Brad Coleman and the No. 18 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Busch Series for at least 10 of the rookie's 17 races in 2007. In a press conference at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Concord during the NASCAR NEXTEL Media Tour, team owner J.D. Gibbs, Coleman and Carino's Italian Grill owners Creed Ford and Norman Abdallah unveiled the partnership.
"We're very happy to have Carino's sponsoring Brad Coleman and the No. 18 team," said Gibbs. "We've put a lot of emphasis on our Busch program to help develop young drivers like Brad, but we couldn't do it without the support of Carino's Italian Grill. They're a great partner for our race team."
Coleman, an 18 year-old Houston native, earned the highest average finishing position (third) in ARCA last year after notching eight top-fives in nine ARCA starts, which included his first major stock car win at Kentucky Speedway when he held off eight-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel through two green-white-checkered restarts. He also made two Busch Series starts, the first of which came at Nashville Speedway a week after graduating high school where he lived and trained in Martinsville, VA.
Prior to his ARCA accomplishments, Coleman competed in late models and was the Rookie Points Champion in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, Formula Mazda, Fran-Am 1600, and the Grand Am Rolex Series, where in 2005 at 16 years-old, he was part of the youngest driver lineup in history when his team finished 7th in class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in a Porsche 9111 GT3.
"I am bringing a diversified and focused cross-training effort to the NASCAR Busch Series. My stock car experience at many different short tracks and speedways coupled with racing open wheel and sports cars at most every major road course in North America has prepared me well," said Coleman. "Being able to combine that experience with the leadership and expertise that Joe Gibbs Racing brings gives me even more confidence as I take that next step in my career. Their personnel and equipment are second to none and I am looking forward to working with them. And all of us are looking forward to eating at Carino's Italian Grill!! Their food is awesome!"
Carino's Italian Grill has 200 locations around the United States and serves a unique combination of classic Italian dishes and specialties off the grill. The open grill atmosphere engages diners and allows them to see their fresh dishes being prepared right before their eyes. In addition to the traditional lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs, Carino's offers a different twist in grilled items such as Cedar Plank Salmon and Prosciutto Wrapped Filet Mignon and fun appetizers such as Italian Dynamite Sticks and Nachos.
"Carino's Italian Grill is excited to begin our partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing and Brad Coleman, said Chief Executive Officer Norman Abdallah. "We believe that everyone at JGR-from team management to the drivers to the crew-falls right in line with our core values, so our relationship is a natural fit. We also like our driver a lot because he is a class-act kid that puts others first off the track, and is a star in the making on the track. He is going places and we want to go there with him."
JGR has scored over 50 NASCAR victories and earned three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series championships since competing in their first race-the 1992 Daytona 500. Just last year, JGR's Busch Series teams earned two wins and nine poles.
Coleman will look to add to those totals when he makes his first start in the No. 18 Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet March 4 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodrigues road course in Mexico City, where JGR is the defending race winner with Denny Hamlin's victory in last year's inaugural event.