2013 TMS Media Day

TMS made headlines on Monday. Drivers l to r: James Buescher, James Hinchcliffe, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr and Travis Pastrana shared stories with the audience. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
James Buescher, James Hinchcliffe, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr, Travis Pastrana Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By Bruce Cameron

On Monday, Texas Motor Speedway held its Annual Media Day to introduce changes for the upcoming season in regards to sponsorships and track news. The event was held on site and the Grand Ballroom was packed with reporters from various media outlets. The major announcement is that there is a change in title sponsorship from Samsung to NRA for the annual spring NASCAR Sprint Cup race. It’s a one-year deal with an option to renew. The race now known as the NRA 500 will serve as the first prime-time Saturday evening race.

“The NRA has been involved in the sport for several years and a partner of Speedway Motorsports, Inc. for many years in various aspects, and this race entitlement is just another extension of that business relationship,” speedway president Eddie Gossage said. “We look forward to another successful partnership with the NRA for our April race week of activities.”

The relationship between NASCAR and the NRA is nothing new. Last year the NRA was the title sponsor of the September 1 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NRA American Warrior 300. NASCAR owner Richard Childress is a current NRA board member and team owners and drivers have donated sponsor space on their cars to support the NRA.

Locally, the NRA has been a generous supporter of SMI’s Speedway Children’s Charities and its fund-raising events since 2000. The NRA has contributed more than $500,000 to the Texas Chapter of SCC at Texas Motor Speedway alone.

NOS Energy Drink replaces Red Bull as the Official Energy Drink of Texas Motor Speedway
Red Bull has decided to shift their focus away from NASCAR and as a result NOS (The Coca-Cola Company) has stepped up with sponsorship. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is one of the primary spokespersons for NOS and has been the driving force behind their new social media campaign, #iamNOSome.

Firestone on board for Three More Years
Also on Monday, the announcement of the title sponsorship of the Firestone 550 – “America’s Original Nighttime IndyCar Race”-will now extend through 2015. “Firestone Racing is thrilled to announce this extension with Texas Motor Speedway, which will make it a six-year run of continuous race title sponsorship from 2010 to 2015,” Firestone Racing Executive Director Al Speyer said. “It continues our long-standing partnership with Eddie Gossage and his great staff that goes all the way back to 1997.

O’Reilly Extends Sponsorship On Both TMS Nationwide Races
A four year agreement has been completed to extend title sponsorship of April’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and November’s O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge through 2016. O’Reilly Auto Parts is the longest-running active race sponsor at Texas Motor Speedway, having sponsored the speedway’s Nationwide Series events since 2002.

“O’Reilly Auto Parts has shown a commitment to motorsports and we are excited to have them continue to support both the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 and O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge races,” Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage said. “Few tracks have a long-standing race sponsor like O’Reilly Auto Parts has shown at Texas Motor Speedway and we are excited to continue to bring fans the most exciting Nationwide Series races on the schedule.”