The Pit Stop

January 20, 2009 10:04 PM

Mike Skinner, Juan Pablo Montoya, Nationwide , and more....

SpeedTV reports that Dodge cars have been granted a change of the nose which Dodge feels will make them better on 1.5 and 2.0 mile tracks.

In an Earnhardt Ganassi Racing PR that is out today, it says that Juan Pablo Montoya is going to have Target as a sponsor. The PR though does not say what has happened to the Wrigley's sponsorship that was supposed to be for 18 races. 

More on this from a link.  The link says that they are going to field four cars for the Daytona 500 with three cars full time.  Wrigley's is going to be an associate sponsor for Juan Pablo Montoya and they say something should be announced soon for a sponsor for the Aric Almirola ride.

Mike Skinner has been named the driver for the R3 Motorsports #23 Chevy car that is going to attempt the Daytona 500.

Tony Stewart is going to attempt to qualify the #80 Hendrick Motorsports car for the Camping World 300 Nationwide Series race in February at Daytona.

Yates Racing General Manager Max Jones is going to oversee the Hall Of Fame Racing #96 car that Bobby Labonte is going to drive.

Nationwide PR:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports to be featured in Nationwide Insurance 2009 marketing campaign

Charlotte, NC -- Nationwide Insurance announced today at NASCAR Nationwide Series media day that NASCAR racing superstar, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his company JR Motorsports will be featured in a new marketing campaign that will begin in February.

The company also introduced other activities related to the sponsorship, including the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash, which involves an increased winner's purse at four NASCAR Nationwide Series races, and the NASCAR Nationwide Series ESPN 'Driver Pick
'Em' game presented by Nationwide Insurance, a weekly interactive competition for cash prizes that will be available on

Nationwide's partnership with Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports, the company he owns that fields NASCAR Nationwide Series teams, will include TV and radio advertising. In the ads, Earnhardt Jr. talks about his family's 30-year history with Nationwide. Earnhardt Jr, is a current Nationwide customer - as are many other members of his family. The campaign will also involve personal appearances with Earnhardt Jr. and JR Motorsports driver, Brad Keselowski.

"My family has been with Nationwide for three generations," Earnhardt Jr. said. "When they asked me to appear in the campaign I knew it was a good fit because I've always appreciated the relationship our family has had with our Nationwide agent. The service we have received as customers has been outstanding."

Nationwide has created an interactive micro site,, which will feature behind the scenes videos and photos from the recent ad shoot. The final ads will be available on this site in mid-February

The campaign is a departure from previous Nationwide ads featuring celebrities. Despite the obvious opportunity for a racing pun, the ad does not include the company's famous Life Comes at You Fast line and is not intended to be humorous. It's framed as a customer testimonial, and true story from a family with one of the richest traditions in NASCAR.

"When we considered our approach for 2009 the Earnhardt family's long history with Nationwide presented us with a great opportunity to talk about how many of our customers stay with us for a lifetime," said John Aman, associate vice president of sponsorships for Nationwide

"This is a serious time for Americans," Aman said. "People are worried about the economy, their jobs, and their retirement plans - so we didn't want to make a joke. We felt like this was an opportunity to tell an honest story about a real family who has been with Nationwide for generations because they appreciate the service and value Nationwide provided. This family just happens to include some of the greatest race car drivers ever."

In years past, Nationwide has featured celebrities like Kevin Federline and Fabio during the Super Bowl.

"We've had success in building buzz with Super Bowl ads in the past," Aman said. "At this point in time, we're focused on developing a deeper relationship with NASCAR's very loyal fan base as the official provider of auto, home and life insurance and through this new partnership with JR Motorsports."

Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash
Nationwide also introduced the 'Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash' that will add $25,000 to the winner's purse at the 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Nashville Superspeedway Kentucky SpeedwayIowa Speedway and Memphis Motorsports Park. Drivers eligible to for this competition include full-time NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers and series regulars who are not full-time drivers on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. If a driver who is not eligible wins one of the races, prize money will be rolled over to the next race in the competition. The program also includes a $50,000 season-end bonus to the eligible driver with the highest points total over the four races.

"We wanted to provide some additional support for drivers on our series," said Aman. "We also hope that these bonuses encourage competition and contribute to more exciting racing for the fans."

ESPN 'Driver Pick 'Em' presented by Nationwide Insurance
The Nationwide 'Driver Pick' Em' contest is an interactive weekly contest on Fans can log-in weekly to select the winners of 10 head-to-head match-ups for each NASCAR Nationwide Series races. The contest will include cash prizes for weekly and season-long winners.

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