These days, NASCAR races are a far cry from the events where good old beer-loving boys used to ride around in their pickup trucks and watch their favorite drivers race around the track.
Mike Skinner, one of the top drivers on NASCAR’s Winston Cup circuit, drives the No. 19 for Team Yellow Racing (Photo by Yellow Freight System)
In the stands, there are now more young couples or families who go to the track in minivans to encourage their favorite drivers. On the track, mixed with the bright colors of familiar race car sponsors like Valvoline and DuPont, are some of the biggest names in trucking: Yellow Freight System and Schneider National.
These trucking giants and others in the industry have embraced the changing face of NASCAR. They put their endorsement labels on race cars and sponsor racing teams.
Some trucking companies are discovering that racetracks can be a quick way to market transportation products and services. Races also offer the opportunity to recruit rare drivers and interact with customers.
Additionally, the Yellow and Schneider colors are virtually unmistakable brands for fans and potential customers traveling the roads.
“There is a very strong correlation between transportation decision makers and the NASCAR fan base,” said William Zollars, president of Yellow Freight System in Overland Park, Kan.
Yellow is one of a growing number of trucking companies putting their logo on stock car hoods. The unionized less-than-truckload carrier began its association with NASCAR in 1998, signing on as an associate sponsor with a Craftsman Truck Series team. It also became title sponsor of the Truck Series race at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, Missouri.
The company expanded its involvement in NASCAR by creating Team Yellow Racing in 1998. As part of a sponsorship deal with Emerald Performance Group, the carrier committed to financing the No. 19 Chevrolet Monte Carlo for at least 20 events Busch Grand National Series during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
On March 13, the carrier entered the racing scene even deeper by sponsoring the Yellow Freight 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway – a first for the company.
For the full story, see the June 7 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.