Good News Comes From The CARS Pro Cup Tour

By Patrick Reynolds

“As many of you know, for three-and-a-half years, this series has struggled, as other sanctioning bodies have. You look at the TV on Saturday or Sunday (and that) proves we are not the only ones having problems within the racing industry,” said Jack McNelly.

McNelly, director of the Championship Auto Racing Series, made the above statement as he opened a press conference for the Pro Cup Tour. From behind a podium he alluded to the attendance and car count challenges facing CARS as well as the upper levels of auto racing.

McNelly’s remarks came from a meeting room in Mooresville, NC, near the location of many professional NASCAR teams. The Pro Cup Series will now face their challenges, shared by those same NASCAR groups, with the help of a partnership alongside a local company.

The CARS Pro Cup Series has acquired a new title sponsor in Revolution Oil, from Mooresville.

McNelly said the tour’s race this weekend in Myrtle Beach “will be the first time that this series will be under the banner of its new title sponsor that has been signed and ready to go for 2012 and 2013.”

Roughly a decade ago, the series was one of the top short track tours in the United States. Full 36-car fields competed for $10,000 to win on a regular basis. The 250-lap races featured live pit stops, a television package, and the champion was awarded a six-figure prize. Times were good and times were different.

During that period, the series was owned by Bob Brooks, of the Hooters Restaurant chain. Hooters invested their marketing money to ensure those positive aspects. With Brooks’ passing in 2006 and Hooters leaving the series in 2009, the once-strong circuit worked hard to endure.

“We have survived. And we will continue to survive. And with today’s news it will make that survival a little easier,” McNelly said.

Although the excitement in the CARS officials was evident, terms and details of Revolution’s sponsorship were not.

“We are not going to have immediate benefit from this arrangement,” said McNelly. “But I can assure you the business plan we have in effect will have long-term benefits not only in this year, but next (year). “

McNelly said, “A lot of it (dollar amount) depends on our performance and our ability to help them sell product. So there is no set (sponsorship) number. There is a lot of work for us to do.”

McNelly did state he hoped to increase purses, driver and owner point funds, car counts, and series exposure. But don’t look for the tour’s television broadcasts to immediately return.

“(TV coverage is a) Long way down the road. I’d have to say that’s not high on the pecking list right now. My wish list right now is to pay a purse, pay a point fund, (and) get cars on the racetrack. Sell seats; get the grandstands back to where they need to be,” McNelly said. “TV is nice, absolutely. And it might be a little bit easier to sell sponsorship but I think we are a ways away from that yet. Would we like it? Would somebody like to scroll a check to put us on TV? Yeah. But we’re not there.”

In spite of some unanswered questions, the addition of Revolution Oil was treated as a start for the series to stop focusing on merely surviving and return to growing.

“The sponsorship agreement with Revolution gives this series much needed stability and credibility,” said McNelly. “It is my hope that other teams, tracks, and yes, media- will finally realize this series is here to stay.”

(Patrick Reynolds is a former professional NASCAR team mechanic who hosts Motor Week LIVE! on RacersReunion Radio Mondays at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT)

 

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By Patrick Reynolds“As many of you know, for three-and-a-half years, this series has struggled, as other sanctioning bodies have. You look at the TV on Saturday or Sunday (and that) proves we are not the only ones having problems within the racing industry,” said Jack McNelly.
McNelly, director of the Championship Auto Racing Series, made the above statement as he opened a press conference for the Pro Cup Tour. From behind a podium he alluded to the attendance and car count challenges facing CARS as well as the upper levels of auto racing.
McNelly’s remarks came from a meeting room in Mooresville, NC, near the location of many professional NASCAR teams. The Pro Cup Series will now face their challenges, shared by those same NASCAR groups, with the help of a partnership alongside a local company.
The CARS Pro Cup Series has acquired a new title sponsor in Revolution Oil, from Mooresville.
McNelly said the tour’s race this weekend in Myrtle Beach “will be the first time that this series will be under the banner of its new title sponsor that has been signed and ready to go for 2012 and 2013.”
Roughly a decade ago, the series was one of the top short track tours in the United States. Full 36-car fields competed for $10,000 to win on a regular basis. The 250-lap races featured live pit stops, a television package, and the champion was awarded a six-figure prize. Times were good and times were different.
During that period, the series was owned by Bob Brooks, of the Hooters Restaurant chain. Hooters invested their marketing money to ensure those positive aspects. With Brooks’ passing in 2006 and Hooters leaving the series in 2009, the once-strong circuit worked hard to endure.
“We have survived. And we will continue to survive. And with today’s news it will make that survival a little easier,” McNelly said.
Although the excitement in the CARS officials was evident, terms and details of Revolution’s sponsorship were not.
“We are not going to have immediate benefit from this arrangement,” said McNelly. “But I can assure you the business plan we have in effect will have long-term benefits not only in this year, but next (year). “
McNelly said, “A lot of it (dollar amount) depends on our performance and our ability to help them sell product. So there is no set (sponsorship) number. There is a lot of work for us to do.”
McNelly did state he hoped to increase purses, driver and owner point funds, car counts, and series exposure. But don’t look for the tour’s television broadcasts to immediately return.
“(TV coverage is a) Long way down the road. I’d have to say that’s not high on the pecking list right now. My wish list right now is to pay a purse, pay a point fund, (and) get cars on the racetrack. Sell seats; get the grandstands

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back to where they need to be,” McNelly said. “TV is nice, absolutely. And it might be a little bit easier to sell sponsorship but I think we are a ways away from that yet. Would we like it? Would somebody like to scroll a check to put us on TV? Yeah. But we’re not there.”
In spite of some unanswered questions, the addition of Revolution Oil was treated as a start for the series to stop focusing on merely surviving and return to growing.
“The sponsorship agreement with Revolution gives this series much needed stability and credibility,” said McNelly. “It is my hope that other teams, tracks, and yes, media- will finally realize this series is here to stay.”
(Patrick Reynolds is a former professional NASCAR team mechanic who hosts Motor Week LIVE! on RacersReunion Radio Mondays at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT)

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