Pizza Hut to Sponsor Labonte, Vickers in 2005
- Apr 22, 2005
- 5 Team
CONCORD, N.C. (April 22, 2005) – Hendrick Motorsports today announced a program that will feature Pizza Hut as a primary sponsor of Chevrolets driven by Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers this season in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series.
Labonte, a two-time Cup Series champion, will showcase a Pizza Hut paint scheme on his No. 44 Chevrolets in three upcoming NEXTEL Cup events: May 21 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, June 12 at Pocono Raceway and July 10 at Chicagoland Speedway.
In the Busch Series, Vickers’ No. 57 Pizza Hut Chevrolets will appear May 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway during the track’s inaugural weekend of night racing and Sept. 24 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Vickers posted a pair of victories, three top-fives and four top-10 finishes at Darlington and Dover in 2003 Busch Series competition.
“We’re honored the folks at Pizza Hut have chosen to team with Hendrick Motorsports in their first venture into NASCAR racing,” said Marshall Carlson, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “They’ve laid out a campaign we’re all excited to be associated with and we look forward to making the partnership a valuable one for them.”
As the world’s largest pizza restaurant company with nearly 6,600 units in the United States and more than 4,000 units in 100 other countries, Pizza Hut has been the place families have gathered for 47 years. The company’s legacy of leadership and innovation in the category makes it a perfect match for this sponsorship.
“This is our first foray into anything NASCAR. We’re really excited to team with Hendrick Motorsports because they’re a winning team that is family-oriented,” said Tom James, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut. “We know NASCAR is a family sport—families gather to watch the races, racing teams are family-owned and many drivers have siblings and parents racing with them on the track—so it’s a natural connection for us.”
Labonte, 48, who won Cup championships in 1984 and 1996, is driving 10-race NEXTEL Cup schedules in 2005 and 2006 as part of his “Shifting Gears – Lone Star Style” tour. He already has made starts this season at California Speedway, Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway.
A Corpus Christi, Texas, native, Labonte has 22 victories, 27 pole positions, 181 top-five finishes and 359 top-10 efforts since joining the Cup circuit in 1978. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.
Hailing from Thomasville, N.C., Vickers earned the Busch Series title in 2003, winning three races and becoming NASCAR’s youngest-ever champion. He moved to the NEXTEL Cup level the following season, posting two poles and four top-10 efforts in his rookie campaign, and currently competes on the tour full-time in the No. 25 Chevrolets.
With Pizza Hut on the hood May 6, the 21-year-old Vickers will make his first Busch Series start since capturing the circuit championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2003.
ABOUT PIZZA HUT:
As the world’s largest pizza restaurant company with almost 6,600 units in the United States and more than 4,000 units in 100 other countries, Pizza Hut, Inc., a subsidiary of Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), has been the place families have gathered for 47 years. The company’s legacy of leadership and innovation has made it the recognized leader in the $37 billion pizza category. Those hungry for more information can go to the official Pizza Hut Web site at www.pizzahut.com.
ABOUT HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS:
Hendrick Motorsports has won nine NASCAR championships in the last decade and currently fields teams in the sanctioning body’s top two divisions—the NEXTEL Cup Series and Busch Series. Drivers include Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Brian Vickers, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson. Please visit www.HendrickMotorsports.com for additional information.