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NASCAR: Valvoline Team Ownership Begins at Daytona

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
Valvoline begins a new chapter in its storied NASCAR history in Sunday's Daytona 500, with the company's largest-ever financial investment in the sport, co-owning and sponsoring the No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac Grand Prix driven by Johnny Benson. After working with Benson in the months leading up to Daytona, company officials describe the Michigan native and last year's near-upset winner of stock car racing's Super Bowl as "a sponsor's dream."

Valvoline becomes the first major consumer products company to co-own a Winston Cup team, joining forces with MB2 Motorsports, and the No. 36 M&M's Pontiac driven by Ken Schrader. Jim Rocco, Valvoline senior vice president, said the move into team co-ownership fits Valvoline's business model.

"Valvoline wanted not just to continue as a sponsor in Winston Cup racing, but to increase and expand our involvement in the sport," said Rocco. "The philosophy of Valvoline as a company is to be bold, innovative and forward thinking. That approach is symbolized very well by becoming the first major consumer products company to co-own a Winston Cup team."

Rocco explained Valvoline's role. "We are marketers. In joining forces with MB2, we have the benefit of an established team management structure. Jay Frye, general manager of both MB2 and Valvoline Racing, is a former Valvoline employee and so is well known to us. Valvoline's role will be to focus on the marketing, promotional, and other business aspects of the team."

Rocco on Benson, who qualified 11th: "Johnny has been a winner and a champion in ASA and the Busch Grand National series. He's run competitively in Winston Cup and what he did last year, with a team that was unsponsored for a lot of the season, was impressive, to say the least. We think we're joining forces with Johnny just as he begins the best years of his Winston Cup career and can help him achieve his goals. He already enjoys wide support and I think Johnny will grow as a fan favorite."

Text Provided By Michael Knight

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