The Ford Motor Company along with the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers will team up to sponsor the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race July 12, 2003 at Kentucky Speedway. The event will be known as "The Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" and telecast live nationally on SPEED Channel beginning at 8:00 p.m.

The sponsorship agreement is for one year and carries a one-year renewal option. The announcement was made today during a news conference at the track. "This agreement certainly helps unite Ford's interests in promoting its standing as the world leader in truck sales, our Greater Cincinnati Ford dealer body, our position as the Official Truck of NASCAR, and our loyal race fans," Ford Racing Technology Global Marketing Manager Burt Diamond said. "Clearly, this deal made business sense on many levels, and I'm grateful to everyone at Kentucky Speedway for continuing to be so willing to work with Ford."

The event sponsorship extends Ford's multi-faceted corporate partnership with the track. Since 2000, the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers have provided "The Official Car and Truck" of Kentucky Speedway, as well as being the exclusive automotive category partner. In addition, Ford Racing entered into a multi-year agreement in 2002 to rent the facility each Tuesday to allow its NASCAR Winston Cup teams to test on the speedway's 1.5-mile tri-oval. Ford will utilize "The Built Ford Tough 225, Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" as a focal point of its rollout of the all-new 2004 F-150 truck, which will be available this fall.

"We have been a Ford facility since day one and are very proud and honored that our partnership is expanding. First, it was the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers Group, then Ford Racing, and now Ford corporate," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said.

"It's just a fantastic extension of an already great relationship and I'm delighted it came together. Since our opening in June 2000, we've never had a race unsponsored and our winning streak will continue through 2003 as every race and pole night will feature a title sponsor," he added.

Financial terms of the Ford event sponsorship were not disclosed. Ford and the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers receive VIP Corporate Suites, venue signage, advertising, grandstand tickets, event specific merchandise, hospitality and other promotional considerations under the agreement. In addition, Ford and the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers will utilize 10,000 square feet of display space at the venue to showcase the all-new F-150 truck.

"The Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers are delighted to receive this type of support from Ford Division," Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers President Robert Nolan said. "The Ford F-Series is the best selling truck on the planet 26 years running. With the launch of the all new 2004 F-150 pick-up truck this fall, we feel "The Built Ford Tough 225, Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" provides us the perfect environment in which to introduce what we believe will continue to be our best selling vehicle to an enthusiastic truck audience that loves racing."

Many activities are planned around "The Built Ford Tough 225, Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" including a pre-race concert, demolition derby, a celebrity Legends Series race on the preceding Friday during 700 WLW Pole Night. Kentucky Speedway also is projected to crown its millionth fan during its main event of the weekend on July 12.

"It's a proven fact, Ford race fans are Ford Truck buyers, and Kentucky is the backbone of Ford's truck production operation," said Doug Scott, truck group marketing manager, Ford Division. "As important as the 2004 Ford F-150 is to Ford - our boldest, toughest, and best F-150 yet - it's also very important to our customers. There is simply no way we could bypass showcasing it at Kentucky Speedway."

The July 12 event will be the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series' fourth at Kentucky Speedway. In 2000, the series helped launch the $152-million, 1. 5-mile superspeedway. Greg Biffle, who went on to win the 2000 NCTS championship as well as the 2002 NASCAR Busch Series title, recorded the first truck series victory at Kentucky Speedway. In 2001, Scott Riggs earned Kentucky's second truck title by edging Joe Ruttman and Jack Sprague at the finish line. Last season, Mike Bliss blitzed the field to win one of the fastest NCTS races of all time. More than 160,000 fans have enjoyed the truck series in its first three years at Kentucky.

Both season and single-event tickets for 2003 Kentucky Speedway race events are on sale now. Fans can purchase tickets in the following ways:

  • By phone at 1-888-652-RACE (single-event) or 859-578-2300 (season)
  • At select Meijer stores and supercenters via Tickets.com
  • Online at www.kentuckyspeedway.com or www.Tickets.com
  • At the Kentucky Speedway corporate office at 2216 Dixie Hwy. Suite 200, in Ft. Mitchell, Ky. Or the speedway's Fan Center, off of Hwy 35 in Sparta, KY.
  • Through Tickets.com retail outlets located at the Cincinnati Visitor's Center and in Play-It-Again Sports and Hader hardware locations.

Tickets.com facilitates Kentucky Speedway single-event ticket and Reserved RV camping pass sales to local clients and race fans. A complete list of retail locations is available at www.Tickets.com or www.kentuckyspeedway.com and by phone at 1-888-652-RACE. Tickets.com service fees will apply to all outlet, phone and Internet orders.

Kentucky Speedway History

Kentucky Speedway opened in June 2000 by hosting the NASCAR All Pro Series and the speedway's first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race. Kentucky Speedway attracted 300,000 fans in its inaugural year and set stand-alone event attendance records for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (63,760) and Indy Racing League (61,214). In 2001, a total of 360,000 fans were on hand for Kentucky Speedway's four race weekends, a 20 percent increase from the previous season. The facility continued its success in 2002 when it's all-time attendance figure passed the 843,000 mark. The speedway projects it will entertain its millionth fan during "The Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" event. Kentucky Speedway opens May 9-10 when the ARCA RE/MAX Series returns for the "Channel 5-205." The weekend also will feature ARCA qualifying and autograph session with NASCAR Winston Cup Series stars on The Louisville Courier-Journal Pole Night. Racing continues June 14 when the NASCAR Busch Series convenes to contest "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo." The race will be preceded by the June 13 NASCAR Kodak Southeast Series "The Kentucky 150" on Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night. The July 11-12 weekend features the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" and NASCAR Goody's Dash Series "Kentucky 150" on 700 WLW Pole Night. The Indy Racing League Indy Car Series will provide the season finale with "The Belterra Casino Indy 300" on August 17 and Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series "Kentucky 100" on August 16 during "The Bull Country Radio Pole Night."