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At Least 25 Drivers to Appear in New Sponsor TV Ads, Keeping Fans Tuned to FOX

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2008) – Unlike the biggest events in other sports, during the Daytona 500 (Feb 17, FOX, 2 p.m.) the sport's athletes appear in virtually every commercial break, keeping viewers tuned in.
During the FOX broadcast of the 2007 Daytona 500, NASCAR drivers appeared in 46 percent of the commercials, according to. Dr. Max Utsler, a professor at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Kansas. In all, 19 drivers starred in sponsor spots, and with at least 25 slated to be featured during the 2008 race, the percentage of drivers in commercials may rise even higher, Utsler said.
"NASCAR fans like seeing the stars of the sport in sponsors' commercials – making the sport TiVo-proof," said NASCAR Chief Marketing Officer Steve Phelps.
During the 2007 Daytona 500, FOX Sports retained 95% of its audience during commercial breaks on average, according to Nielsen Media Research.
"With NASCAR's biggest and most prestigious event opening the season, sponsors debut new campaigns they will build on for the entire 10-month season," Phelps said. "NASCAR drivers have a very strong public image. Sponsors feel comfortable putting these athletes front and center in their ad campaigns."
NASCAR drivers rank No. 2 behind PGA players as the best role models among athletes, according to a study published in Brandweek magazine.
Nearly all NASCAR fans see drivers as real athletes and good role models. Most fans think NASCAR drivers are accessible and use the products they endorse, according to an independent study from James Madison University Center for Sports Sponsorship:
▪ 85% of NASCAR fans agree that NASCAR drivers are good role models
▪ 74% of NASCAR fans agree that NASCAR drivers are accessible to fans
▪ 56% of NASCAR fans agree that NASCAR drivers use the products they endorse
NASCAR and NASCAR drivers are highly associated with attributes such as: “Athletes I admire,” “Athletes who are regular people," “Down to earth," “Genuine," “Honorable,” and “Straight up and honest,” according to research firm Ipsos Insight.
The new sponsor commercials will be available for fans to preview on a special Daytona 500 Ad Showcase on www.NASCAR.COM. Fans will be able to view and vote for their favorite commercials.
NASCAR official partners airing new campaigns on the Daytona 500 telecast include: Chevrolet, Gillette, Goodyear, Ritz, Sunoco, Sprint, The Home Depot, Toyota and UPS. Additionally, many team sponsors will debut new spots featuring high-profile drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne.
25 Drivers to Appear in New Sponsor TV Ads

Additionally, many team sponsors will debut new spots featuring high-profile drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

50th Running of the Daytona 500 Fast Facts
What: 50th Running of the Daytona 500
Where: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
When: 1 p.m. (ET), Sunday, Feb. 17
Field: 43 cars
Track Layout: 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval
Race Length: 200 laps/500 miles
Purse: $18,689,238
Network: FOX
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN), SIRIUS Satellite Radio
On the Web:
Get a Driver's View: NASCAR HotPass on DirecTV
Defending Champion: Kevin Harvick
Notable Past Champions: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Mario Andretti, A.J. Foyt and Dale Earnhardt

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR), celebrating 60 years in 2008, is the sanctioning body for one of North America's premier sports. NASCAR is the No. 1 spectator sport – holding 17 of the top 20 highest attended sporting events in the U.S., and is the No. 2 rated regular-season sport on television. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in more than 30 languages. NASCAR fans are the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 500 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport.
NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as two international series. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach (Fla.), NASCAR has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Charlotte (N.C.), Concord (N.C.), Conover (N.C.), Bentonville (Ark.), Mexico City, and Toronto.

For more information contact:
Andrew Giangola, Director of Business Communications, NASCAR, (212) 326-1880,

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