DAYTONA BEACH, Florida -- Dodge has increased its Commitment to NASCAR’s grassroots racing program, signing a multi-year agreement to be the exclusive title sponsor of the newly renamed NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series, effective immediately. This sponsorship positions Dodge at the forefront of local NASCAR events across the country and supports Dodge’s enhanced NASCAR marketing platform as an Official Passenger Car of NASCAR.
“This is a major milestone in the history of the Weekly Series," said NASCAR Chief Operating Officer George Pyne." This is the foundation of our sport, and with the increased support from Dodge, the Weekly Series will advance into the new century. Fans of weekly racing represent our most passionate fans, and this new sponsorship will deliver excitement to them as well as opportunities for teams and tracks across the country."
The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series is NASCAR’s national championship program for thousands of weekly short track competitors. Drivers race at their" home track," which is one of nearly 80 short tracks divided among eight geographic regions. The tracks range in size from 1/4-mile to 5/8-mile, and include both asphalt and dirt tracks. The series, which enters its 22nd year in 2003, offers opportunities for hometown hobbyists and aspiring NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers alike. Drivers earn points towards track championships, and are also eligible for one of eight regional championships and a national championship. The top drivers in the series share a $1.7 million point fund, with over $165,000 going to the national champion. Peter Daniels, of Lebanon, N.H., was the Series’ 2002 national champion, after he recorded 14 wins in the Series NASCAR Modified Division at Claremont (N.H.) Speedway.
Dodge began its involvement with the Series as a presenting sponsor in 2002. In cooperation with its dealerships, the automotive manufacturer has supported the program through event night sponsorships at participating tracks and a national ad campaign appearing in USA Today, National Speed Sport News, NASCAR Magazine, Speedway Scene, Speedway Illustrated, Stock Car Racing, NASCAR Winston Cup Scene and other motorsports trade publications. Dodge City, the company's mobile marketing exhibit, includes a display dedicated to the series. In addition to marketing support, Dodge has taken steps to make the series a true developmental program for its motorsports efforts. Track champions receive point fund bonuses for using Dodge vehicles. Regional champions driving Dodges are offered tryouts with one of the company-backed NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams and should the national champion drive a Dodge, they could get the opportunity to test one of Evernham Motorsports' NASCAR Winston Cup Dodge Intrepids.
"The NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series provides Dodge and its 3,000 Dodge dealers tremendous marketing and promotional opportunities at the local level," said Jim Yetter, Director - Dodge Motorsports and PVO Marketing. “We're able to take racing to our customers in the heart of America, and help those with a passion for racing and for life achieve their aspirations and dreams. At the same time, the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series helps us complement our presence in NASCAR Winston Cup and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, allowing our dealers who do not have a large track near them to leverage motorsports to drive traffic and generate sales."
The series was founded in 1982, and was originally known as the NASCAR Winston Racing Series. R.J. Reynolds’ Winston brand sponsored the series until 1999. The series became known as the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series, until Dodge began its involvement in 2002.