Tucson Signs Danny O'Quinn Jr. Longs, SC-When sponsors look for drivers, they tend to look for someone who will provide maximum exposure for their brand in a professional manner. So it makes perfect sense that the Renegade Tobacco Company ...
Tucson Signs Danny O'Quinn Jr.
Longs, SC-When sponsors look for drivers, they tend to look for someone who will provide maximum exposure for their brand in a professional manner.
So it makes perfect sense that the Renegade Tobacco Company announced today its sponsorship of Danny O'Quinn Jr. in the Southern Division of the Hooters Pro Cup Series during the 2005 season.
O'Quinn Jr. completed a series-high 99.5 percent of laps, averaged a 9.4 finish and finished seventh in the overall points during 2004.
"The Hooters Pro Cup Series offers extremely competitive racing, and Danny is ranked among the best drivers in the Series," said Calvin Phelps, President of Renegade Tobacco Company. "Tucson cigarettes and Renegade Tobacco Company are proud to sponsor Danny, and we're sure that Danny and Tucson will be visiting the winners circle in 2005."
Renegade's announcement is the latest windfall in what has been a whirlwind year in O'Quinn's life.
Last May, O'Quinn Jr. picked up his first Pro Cup win at Lonesome Pine Raceway and followed that with near misses at Peach State and Southern National en route to a breakout year.
"We sat down before last season, looked back at the problems we had during our rookie season and tried to eliminate them," said O'Quinn Jr., who will drive the No. 02 Tucson Ford in '05. "I made some mistakes as a rookie and got in some wrecks. Last year, we finished all the races, and that was the biggest difference. We had a chance to win three or four races last year. And when we had problems, we rebounded and salvaged a decent finish. That is where we really changed our program. Now, we've got the right people in the right places on our team."
And people are taking notice.
Late in '04, O'Quinn Jr. received an invitation to Roush Racing's "Race for the Ride" program. Although O'Quinn Jr. didn't land the No. 99 ride in the Craftsman Truck Series, his finalist effort boosted his stock-and his confidence-as a racecar driver.
"[Being invited to the "Race for the Ride" program] was a big moral booster for our team," said O'Quinn Jr. "It showed that we were running good enough for people to be looking at us."
However, despite his successes, O'Quinn Jr. was facing a tough start to his third season in Pro Cup before inking the deal with Tucson.
"We didn't have anything going as far as sponsorship, and Tucson called up out of the blue," said O'Quinn Jr. "We can't thank them enough for helping us out. Racing is a very expensive deal, regardless of what series you run. The more help we have, the better off we'll be. With Tucson's help, I really do feel we should be running for the championship and winning some races."