Kroger, Oreo Cookies To Sponsor 2002 NASCAR Busch Series Event At Kentucky Speedway
The Kroger Co., the Nabisco Biscuit Division of Kraft Foods, and Kentucky Speedway announced today that the facility's June 15 NASCAR Busch Series race will be titled "The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo."
The title and presenting sponsorship agreement for Kentucky Speedway's second NASCAR Busch Series event increases the commitment of current corporate partners Kroger and Nabisco. The 2001 inaugural race attracted a Greater Cincinnati record, standing-room-only crowd of 70,338 to the $152-million, state-of-the-art venue.
"We are delighted to have Kroger and Nabisco's Oreo® Cookies brand as sponsors of our NASCAR Busch Grand National Race," Kentucky Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Mark F. Cassis said. "Our goal for this race was to attract nationally recognized sponsors and to have Kroger and Oreo on board for one of our largest events has truly exceeded our expectations. We fully expect to duplicate last season's standing-room-only crowd."
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, The Kroger Co. is one of the nation's largest grocery retailers, with fiscal 2001 sales of $50.1 billion. The company operates more than 2,400 stores under nearly two dozen banners and a variety of store formats.
The NASCAR Busch Series partnership marks the second title sponsorship for the Kroger Co. at Kentucky Speedway. The company is in its third year as title sponsor of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Kroger 225."
Introduced in 1912, Oreo is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2002. The top-selling cookie in the world, Oreo is the flagship brand in the Nabisco cookie and cracker portfolio. Oreo is no stranger to NASCAR: an image of the classic vanilla crème-filled chocolate sandwich cookie has adorned the hood of Dale Earnhardt. In February, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. drove an Oreo-branded car to victory in the GNC Live Well 300 in the return of his father's legendary No. 3 to the track.
The Nabisco brands have been affiliated with NASCAR since 1998, beginning as a sponsor of Dale Earnhardt, Inc (DEI). Today, "Team Nabisco" encompasses sponsorship of DEI and its drivers - Earnhardt, Jr., Steve Park and Michael Waltrip - Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and its leading driver, Kevin Harvick, Penske Racing and Rusty Wallace, as well as the distinction as "Preferred Cookie, Cracker and Snack Nut of NASCAR" and "Official Cookie and Snack Cracker of Kentucky Speedway." The NASCAR Busch Series partnership will be the first race sponsorship for the Nabisco brands.
"We're thrilled to ride 'shotgun' with terrific partners like Kroger and the Kentucky Speedway for our inaugural race sponsorship," said Martin Wingard, Vice President, Kraft's Nabisco Kroger Customer Business Team. "Between an exciting race and helping celebrate Oreo's 90th birthday, I think the fans can look forward to a memorable day on June 15."
NASCAR Busch Series At Kentucky Speedway
Kentucky's inaugural NASCAR Busch Series 300-mile event was held June 16, 2001. The record-breaking crowd witnessed Kevin Harvick lead 70 of the 200 race laps in the No. 2 AC Delco/Sylvania Chevrolet en route to taking the first series win at the speedway. The win helped Harvick maintain the series points lead and propelled him to the 2001 championship.
The event also featured a Darrell Waltrip Statue and Walkway Dedication Ceremony outside the speedway's Fan Center, a pre-race concert by country star Brad Paisley, a B-1 Bomber flyover, and an appearance by Grand Marshal Corey Dillon, record-setting running back of the Cincinnati Bengals.
Kentucky Speedway History
Kentucky Speedway opened in June of 2000 by hosting the NASCAR All Pro Series and the first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series "Kroger 225." 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 2002, 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 2002 Kentucky Speedway season begins with "The Auto Body Panels Short Track Special" on Friday, May 10, and continues its opening weekend with The ARCA RE/MAX Series "Channel 5-155" on Saturday, May 11. "Channel 5-155" festivities include a pre-race concert by country singing sensation Chely Wright. Tickets for all 2002 events, including "The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo," are on sale now and can be purchased in five easy ways:
- By phone at 1-888-652-RACE
- On the World Wide Web at www.kentuckyspeedway.com
- In person at either the speedway's Ft. Mitchell ticket office or at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center off Ky. Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky.
- At Tickets.com and all Tickets.com retail outlets located in Greater Cincinnati
area Meijer Hader Hardware and Play-It-Again Sports stores.
- In person at all Greater Cincinnati AAA locations.