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Racing 'Round The Good Stuff

Pizza Hut, Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR all know how to take care of their families – customers, drivers and fans, that is.  So when the company known for gathering families ‘Round the Good Stuff™ partnered this year with a winning team and a family-oriented sport, it was no surprise.

In April, Pizza Hut announced its first-ever NASCAR team sponsorship of Hendrick Motorsports drivers Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers. In support of the sponsorship, Pizza Hut debuted a commercial starring Labonte, Vickers, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon that introduced the company’s Family Race Pack™ promotion (essential race-day meal package). In addition, Pizza Hut marked its first move into NASCAR by ‘hiring’ Terry Labonte as its newest delivery driver to deliver pizzas to an after school program.

As a primary sponsor of cars driven by Terry Labonte and Brian Vickers in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series respectively, the Pizza Hut logo will be prominently displayed on the hoods of their Nos. 44 and 57 cars throughout the race season.  Labonte, named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998, raced at the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 21 in his No.44 car with the Pizza Hut logo paint scheme for the first time. Labonte will continue his Pizza Hut race schedule July 10 at Chicagoland Speedway. 

Brian Vickers, one of NASCAR’s youngest-ever champions in the Busch Series, showcased his No. 57 car with the Pizza Hut paint scheme on May 6 at the Darlington (S.C.) Raceway during the track’s inaugural weekend of night racing.  He will also race in the Pizza Hut car Sept. 24 at the Dover International Speedway in Delaware. 

“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.”

“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.”

Pizza Hut revved its engines, beginning the first lap of the sponsorship by ‘hiring’ a new delivery driver – Terry Labonte.  Labonte surprised hundreds of children with an impromptu pizza party in May at the Charlotte, NC, University City YMCA.  Roaring into the YMCA parking lot in his No. 44 car, complete with a Pizza Hut delivery car topper, Labonte delivered more than 100 pizzas to the children in the YMCA’s Afterschool program.

“Now that I’m running a partial NEXTEL Cup schedule, pizza delivery wouldn’t be a bad way to stay behind the wheel,” said Labonte.  “I really appreciate Pizza Hut and YMCA for hosting the event and giving me the opportunity to have some fun with the kids.”

A family man himself, Labonte and his brother, Bobby, and son, Justin, are also NASCAR drivers. 

“These two, Pizza Hut and Hendrick Motorsports, are all about family—strengthening families, gathering families and having fun together,” said Tom James, chief marketing officer, Pizza Hut.

The Pizza Hut commercial began airing nationally on Sunday, May 1 featuring the company’s latest promotion, the Family Race Pack™, which allows fans to watch the race and have a complete meal without missing a lap. The new Family Race Pack promotion includes a large one-topping pizza, bread sticks, cinnamon sticks, a two liter of Pepsi® and napkins, plates and cups so no cooking or cleaning up is necessary.  The Family Race Pack promotion is offered nationally at participating Pizza Hut restaurants for dine-in, carryout or delivery (where available) for $16.99.

Race fans can start their engines, with a slice of pizza from Pizza Hut and a glass of Pepsi, all while watching their favorite NASCAR drivers this season. Another reason to Gather ‘Round the Good Stuff. 

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