The program will kick off during Speedweeks in Daytona Beach, Fla., with primary sponsorship of Phoenix Racing and 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch in the Feb. 25 Nationwide Series race and Feb. 26 Daytona 500. It will continue with primary sponsorship of JR Motorsports and driver Cole Whitt in the March 17 Nationwide event at Bristol, Tenn.
In addition, HendrickCars.com will be a major associate sponsor of the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet with driver Elliott Sadler in NASCAR's biggest race, the Daytona 500.
"Last year's Daytona 500 broadcast alone averaged more than 15 million viewers, and we expect 2012 will be even stronger," said Rick Hendrick, Chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group, which owns HendrickCars.com. "Combined with our sponsorship in the Nationwide Series, that's tens of millions of people seeing our brand, hearing our message and then visiting HendrickCars.com. We wanted to showcase the new site, and there's no more effective marketing tool than NASCAR."
In conjunction with the sponsorship, HendrickCars.com is launching the "2012 Indy Dream Weekend" sweepstakes. From Feb. 13 through March 19, visitors can log onto HendrickCars.com to register for a chance to win a weekend for two at the July 29 Sprint Cup race in Indianapolis. The winner and a guest will receive behind-the-scenes access, a tour of the historic racing venue, VIP seats in a trackside suite and more. The winner will be announced March 23 at www.HendrickCars.com.
"We're proud to have HendrickCars.com as our primary sponsor for both races in Daytona," said James Finch, Owner of Phoenix Racing. "The Hendrick people know how well sponsorships like this work when they're done the right way. Daytona is a big opportunity for our team to build some positive momentum to start the season. Having a sponsor for Speedweeks means a lot to us, and we're going to do everything we can to put HendrickCars.com up front."
The sponsorship of Whitt pairs HendrickCars.com with an up-and-coming young driver and Nationwide Series rookie-of-the-year contender. In his first season at JR Motorsports, Whitt, 20, is joining a No. 88 team that finished fourth in the championship standings in 2011.
"We feel fortunate to be a part of the initiative to drive awareness of HendrickCars.com and the new inventory of cars," said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Vice President of JR Motorsports. "We pride ourselves on having assets both on and off the track to support our sponsors' marketing goals. HendrickCars.com has such an incredible inventory of new and used cars -- literally something for everybody -- and we look forward to doing our part to help with its continued success."
Features of the new HendrickCars.com include streamlined navigation, an expanded offering of used cars and the addition of thousands of new vehicles. The site also has added performance and classic cars, commercial vehicles and motorcycles to its inventory. Customers can view detailed information for nearly 20,000 vehicles, including up to 60 images per listing.
"The HendrickCars.com "fleet" is going to get some very valuable exposure over the next month," said Richard Childress, President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "That'll end up delivering traffic and showing NASCAR fans what the new website has to offer. It's a unique deal, and someone's going to get a once-in-a-lifetime trip out of the promotion. We're glad to be involved."
In 2009, HendrickCars.com sponsored driver Tony Stewart in the season-opening Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway. Stewart led 23 laps on his way to winning the event, which drove record traffic to HendrickCars.com.
"Last time HendrickCars.com was a major sponsor of a car at Daytona, the response was overwhelming," said Hendrick, who also is the owner of championship-winning NASCAR team Hendrick Motorsports. "It was a big success and ultimately helped drive sales. If we do our part by building a great program, these sponsorships will be another business win for us."
In 2011, HendrickCars.com was a sponsor of Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott, who competes full-time in the NASCAR K&N Series East. HendrickCars.com will continue to support Elliott in 2012, along with having associate sponsor placement on the No. 5 Chevrolet of Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne throughout the entire Sprint Cup Series season.