Michael Waltrip Racing to partner with Arshot at SPARC

UPDATE NASCAR team Owner Michael Waltrip Tuesday announced that he and his team "will be investors in the Sports Pavilion & Automotive Research Complex, or SPARC, being developed" on the site of Cooper Stadium in Columbus, according to Steve Wartenberg of the COLUMBUS DISPATCH. Waltrip said of discussions with Arshot Investment Corp. principal and SPARC developer Bill Schottenstein, “He had me from racetrack. Having my hands on designing and helping to build a racetrack is very exciting." Waltrip and Schottenstein “both declined to say how much the team invested." The SPARC complex “will include a half-mile racetrack with 8,500 seats, a 50,000-square-foot office building for the research center, 1,900 parking spaces, a hotel and meeting center, and four or five sites for restaurants or stores along Mound Street." Waltrip said that it is “unlikely, but possible an actual NASCAR race could take place at SPARC," adding that the “limited number of seats at SPARC would make it difficult." COLUMBUS DISPATCH

12/04/12 Arshot Investment Corporation announced today that Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) has committed to partner with the company on its redevelopment of the former Cooper Stadium site in Columbus, Ohio. Members of the NASCAR team, led by two-time Daytona 500 champion and broadcast analyst Michael Waltrip, will serve as public ambassadors of the planned Sports Pavilion & Automotive Research Complex (SPARC). SPARC will feature a paved half-mile track, with preserved grandstand seating, and will be anchored by an automotive research and technical training center. MWR will consult with Arshot on design and operation of the track and will make use of SPARC facilities for testing team cars and conducting various team events.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to participate in the SPARC project," declared Waltrip. “MWR prides itself on being innovative and forward-thinking, which is why we were so attracted to the SPARC concept when first approached by Arshot. We think its unique combination of uses — particularly its emphasis on automotive research — is perfect for the site and make it unlike any other track facility in the nation. And being located in the heart of Ohio, a market largely untapped by NASCAR, will provide MWR and its sponsors with high-impact exposure to millions of current and new racing fans. We can’t think of a better way to cap the most successful season in our team’s history."

MWR recently completed its sixth full year of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. The team is comprised of Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota, Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota, and the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota (driven by Mark Martin, Brian Vickers and Waltrip). In 2012, both Bowyer and Truex were one of twelve drivers who earned a berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, with Bowyer eventually finishing second in overall points. Meanwhile, the entire team was featured in the Speed Channel’s two-part series “Inside Michael Waltrip Racing: A Championship Quest."

Bill Schottenstein, a principal of Arshot, echoed Waltrip’s enthusiasm for the partnership. “Michael Waltrip and his team are an ideal fit for SPARC. They have a genuine appreciation for our vision of creating a vibrant community of automotive researchers, retailers and enthusiasts. Our announcement of Midwestern Auto Group’s involvement in the project was an all-important first step toward achievement of the vision. With the addition of MWR, however, the project takes on true national significance. NASCAR fans everywhere will view Columbus, Ohio as the second home of Michael Waltrip Racing. We are elated to have them as a partner."

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