NASCAR News

Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports Announce Sport Clips Sponsorship

Paul Tracy to Run Expanded Limited Schedule with New Team

September 2, 2006

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Fontana, Calif. – Having announced the formation of Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports less than a month ago, co-owners Bill Riley and Eddie D’Hondt are proud to announce that Sport Clips has agreed to be the primary sponsor of one of their new teams in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series. Fielded out of their new shops located in Mooresville, NC, Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports will run a yet-to-be-determined limited schedule with champion open-wheel driver Paul Tracy in the driver’s seat.

“We are of course very excited about this announcement today,” said co-owner Bill Riley. “We have had many conversations with a number of companies regarding what Eddie and I are building together here. The credit goes to Gordon (Logan), John (Mulgrew) and everyone at Sport Clips and American Crew for stepping up to the plate to make this possible. We are also very honored that they are entrusting us with the images of their companies. We don’t consider this just a sponsorship, but the formation of a true partnership between us and we plan on making the most of it for everyone involved.”

A veteran of the NASCAR garage area, co-owner Eddie D’Hondt has seen a number of drivers with varied levels of skill come and go in the NASCAR ranks. In Tracy he sees the raw and natural talent he has and is excited to get on the track with him to showcase that ability.

“Paul just has a ton of God-given talent,” D’Hondt explained. “We have all seen what he has done in Champ Car and there is no reason he can’t compete week in and week out in NASCAR. We think we have a good idea of what it takes to be competitive in the NASCAR Busch Series and Paul is a great fit for what we are putting together here.”

D’Hondt continued, “Bill and I share a common vision and are very excited about the foundation we are laying. We are deeply grateful to everyone at Sport Clips and American Crew, especially Gordon and John for believing in our vision and look forward to partnering with them and Paul to ensure success for all of us.”

One of open-wheel racing’s most talented and colorful drivers, as well as being respected as a true champion, Tracy views this as another opportunity to continue to challenge his abilities and solidify his place in full-bodied race cars after setting such a high bar in the open-wheel ranks.

“I am familiar with what both Bill (Riley) and Eddie (D’Hondt) have accomplished in their careers and I am excited about being a part of their new team,” said Paul Tracy. “More importantly, I am looking forward to my continued relationship with Sport Clips and American Crew. We’ve had a lot of fun this season and have generated great exposure for both of their brands. It’s been great getting to know both Gordon Logan (CEO of Sport Clips) and John Mulgrew (President of American Crew) on a personal level and I am glad they are going to be a part of this.”

“On the racing side, it was important for me to gain seat time this season and we were able to achieve that,” continued Tracy. “I learned a great deal about the cars and the competition in the few races I have run so far this year. I’m excited to see what Bill, Eddie and I can accomplish together. I want to put the Sport Clips/American Crew car up front and I know we can accomplish that.”

Sport Clips CEO and Founder Gordon Logan was equally excited about the relationship.

“We are extremely pleased and excited about continuing our relationship with Paul Tracy in the NASCAR Busch Series and working with Riley-D’Hondt Motorsports,” Logan said. “Paul brings an excitement and passion to the sport that has greatly expanded the fan base for the Busch Series, which has resulted in an increased awareness of Sport Clips in all of our markets. Sport Clips has a nationwide presence, with an almost-perfect overlay with the NASCAR Busch Series races.”

He continued, “We are particularly pleased that American Crew is on-board with us again in 2007. We have a great relationship with American Crew, a leading edge product line specifically formulated for men and boys - our clients!”

American Crew President John Mulgrew also is looking forward to 2007.

“American Crew is extremely excited to, once again, have the opportunity to work with an American institution like NASCAR, combined with the ability to have a respected and recognized driver like Paul Tracy at the helm of our car. This will continue to take the recognition of our brand and the recognition that Paul creates for us to an exciting new level.”

Considered one of the top franchises in the country, Sport Clips is continuing to expand at a rapid rate. That being the case, Sport Clips has utilized sports and specifically its NASCAR sponsorship, to not only raise brand recognition and consumer awareness, but as a rallying point for its employees and franchisees.

Sport Clips has spent the last three seasons in the NASCAR Busch Series where they have experienced great success. In 2004, Sport Clips was in Victory Lane at Daytona with driver, Mike Wallace. In February 2005, they sat on the Pole at Daytona with driver, Joe Nemechek, and, most recently, they are the primary sponsor of Champ Car star Paul Tracy in his 2006 NASCAR Busch Series effort. Adding to an already impressive motorsports resume, Sport Clips was the primary sponsor of Max Papis’ Indianapolis 500 entry on May 28, 2006, and also was the primary sponsor for Max Papis’ debut in the NASCAR Busch Series on August 12, 2006.

The author can be contacted at nascar@autoracing1.com

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