NASCAR News

NASCAR comes to Manhattan
 EA Sports and NASCAR Partner With Buster’s Garage in TriBeCa
March 24, 2004

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NEW YORK  -- On any given weekend, more people in New York watch NASCAR races on TV than virtually every other market in the U.S. However, with the nearest NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series track hours away, many New Yorkers find it difficult to experience America’s number-two spectator sport.

NASCAR is now starting its engines to bring the sights and sounds of stock car racing to the Big Apple. Stock car racing’s sanctioning body is partnering with Buster’s Garage, a new bar/restaurant located on 180 West Broadway, which will be NASCAR’s New York meeting place. Buster’s Garage will show televised NASCAR races each week and run special race-themed promotions to provide local fans with a place to gather and cheer for their favorite drivers in the 2004 season. The first fan party is slated for the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2004 (FOX, 1 p.m. Eastern).

NASCAR had been searching for an establishment in New York for its famously loyal fan base to call home when a member of NASCAR’s New York Office happened upon Busters, a former auto body shop situated next to 180 Sports and Classics Dealership, a rare and exotic car dealership. “Here was a new ‘car bar’ next to a very cool car dealership right smack on the main strip of the city’s best neighborhood,” said Andrew Giangola, Director of Business Communications at NASCAR. “Buster’s Garage screamed out to be the home for NASCAR fans in NYC.”

Buster’s was already trying to distinguish itself from local sports bars that cater to the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. Buster’s Garage Manager Eric Ness quickly green-lighted a proposed NASCAR partnership. “We cater to families with children, laid back crowds, and folks looking for a good time and great barbecue. Those are the people who watch NASCAR,” he said.

“We’re still a new place that’s not defined yet,” Ness explained. “There are so many people watching NASCAR that this partnership will mean more exposure for us. We hope it’s going to be great for our business.”

EA Sports, a major NASCAR sponsor is involved in the partnership. Buster’s is planning EA Sports video game competitions, Fantasy Racing competitions, NASCAR photo shoots, Trivia competitions, and food. With NASCAR, Ness is planning to bring in show cars and simulator displays, and to develop weekly giveaways and opportunities to win VIP packages which would include airline and race tickets.

Buster’s menu features barbecue treats including BBQ Bacon Shrimp, Beef Brisket Sandwiches, and tasty Southern salads for the health conscious. Multiple big-screen plasma TVs provide sight lines from all parts of the bar. Buster’s kept the actual garage doors in the restaurant, which opens up additional space and allows for comfortable outdoor seating that also allows smokers to be in accordance with New York’s smoking laws. There are also video games for kids. An upstairs deck area is being built to provide extra seating beyond the current capacity of 300 patrons.

With an exciting 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season on tap – NASCAR just adopted a new system for awarding its championship that will bring more drama and excitement to its racing – Buster’s Garage may just be the gathering place NASCAR seeks for New Yorkers.

That’s perfect to Ness, who wants Buster’s Garage to be considered “everything for everybody.” As NASCAR continues to widen its fan base, and TriBeCa continues to grow, becoming Home of NASCAR Fans certainly won’t hurt.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series consists of 38 championship points races at 23 tracks in 19 states, including events in Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Phoenix, Kansas City and Miami. NASCAR is the second most-watched professional sport on television. NASCAR and Nextel announced a 10-year sponsorship agreement last June.

NASCAR TO HOLD RACE DAY PARTY AT BUSTER’S GARAGE

WHAT: NASCAR has teamed with Buster’s Garage to establish a race day headquarters where New York’s stock car fans can gather to watch the race together. In addition to watching the race on multiple big-screen plasma TV’s, fans can also take part in EA Sports video game competitions, fantasy racing challenges, NASCAR photo shoots, and trivia contests. There will also be special show cars and simulator car displays, as well as weekly giveaways and opportunities to win VIP packages including airline and race tickets.

WHEN: Starting Sunday, April 4, 1:00 PM
NASCAR parties will be held at Buster’s every weekend for the rest of the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season

WHERE: Buster’s Garage
180 West Broadway (between Leonard and Worth)
New York, NY
(212) 226-6811
By subway: 1, 9 at Franklin

The author can be contacted nascar@autoracing1.com

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