BUSCH: RCR inks sponsor for 2003

Payday to bring 2001 BGN champion Harvick back to the series; Kevin Harvick to lead the charge in 15 of the 34 races; Johnny Sauter to run the remainder of the schedule. HERSHEY, Pa. (Oct. 10) - 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion Kevin...

Payday to bring 2001 BGN champion Harvick back to the series; Kevin Harvick to lead the charge in 15 of the 34 races; Johnny Sauter to run the remainder of the schedule.

HERSHEY, Pa. (Oct. 10) - 2001 NASCAR Busch Series Champion Kevin Harvick will lead Richard Childress Racing's (RCR) charge for the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Championship in the PayDay Chevrolet Monte Carlo, announced Wynn Willard, a senior vice president and the chief marketing officer at Hershey Foods Corp., maker of PayDay candy bars.

"We are extremely excited about our sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick," Willard said. "Hershey is a leader in the confectionery industry, and Richard Childress Racing is a championship-caliber team in any series with more than 100 wins in the top three tiers of NASCAR. We feel that this partnership with Richard Childress Racing and Kevin Harvick is a perfect fit and a promotional platform that will capture the interest of race fans."

Harvick will compete in 15 of the 34 events on the schedule. Current RCR Busch Series driver Johnny Sauter will compete in the remainder of the events. The events each driver competes in will be determined in the weeks ahead.

"Hershey's has been a great sponsor of Richard Childress Racing for the past couple of years so we're very happy to be working with them as they step up as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Busch Series," Childress said. "Kevin's a proven champion in the Busch Series and Johnny's got all the potential in the world to be a champion himself so the two of them working is going to be exciting to see."

Harvick's 2001 season was one for the ages. His 69 starts in Winston Cup, Busch and Truck points events in one season are the most in the modern era. En route to the Busch Series Championship, Harvick compiled five wins, four poles, 20 top-five finishes and only one DNF. In his Busch Series career, Harvick has eight wins, six poles and 28 top-five finishes. Harvick became the fastest of any driver to win a Winston Cup race, doing so in March at Atlanta Motor Speedway in only his third career start. He went on to take Winston Cup Series Rookie-of-the-Year title and finished ninth in the season's point standings.

"I'm excited to be getting back into the Busch Series," Harvick said. "This year I didn't have enough to do. To get back into the Busch Series with a high-profile sponsor like PayDay is exciting for me and everyone at Richard Childress Racing. I'm looking forward to it because it's going to be a lot of fun and will be good for our Winston Cup effort.

Sauter has one win, three top-five and four top-10 finishes in 27 starts this season. He finished fifth in his Busch Series debut late last season at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway and competed in a total of five races in the RCR No. 21 Chevy. He is the 2001 American Speed Association (ASA) Champion and Rookie of the Year and also set the series' season victory record with 10 trips to the winner's circle.

"I'm glad to be staying with RCR next year and I look forward to working with Kevin Harvick in the No. 21 PayDay car," Sauter said. "Obviously, Kevin knows what it takes to win a Busch Series championship and I'm sure I can learn a few things from him along the way. We won't be running for a driver's championship but there's every reason to believe we can win the owner's championship."

The PayDay brand candy bar is a delicious combination of peanuts and caramel. PayDay has nearly 75 years of production under its belt.

Hershey Foods Corporation (NYSE:HSY) is the leading North American manufacturer of quality chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery and chocolate-related grocery products. Some of the company's most popular products include HERSHEY®'S chocolate and chocolate with almonds bars, HERSHEY®'S KISSES® chocolates, REESE'S® peanut butter cups, JOLLY RANCHER® and TWIZZLERS® candies, HERSHEY®'S cocoa, and HERSHEY®'S syrup. The company also is a market leader in the gum and mint category with such well-known brands as ICE BREAKERS®, BREATH SAVERS®, and BUBBLE YUM®.

-rcr/hf-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Johnny Sauter
Teams Richard Childress Racing