#597 The guys have a ton of news to share, the story behind our Texas race recap show, an encore Ross Chastain interview, driver spotlight includes some XFinity guys, and the usual Toby and Kerry fun. Hosted by those guys just mentioned.

Continue reading “TFLW NASCAR Podcast: #597 Champions Week Nashville”


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Dec. 5, 2019) – In a historic shift for the sport, beginning in 2020 NASCAR’s premier series will be known as the NASCAR Cup Series and will feature four cornerstone brands as Premier Partners; Busch Beer, Coca-Cola®, GEICO and Xfinity.

In addition to the establishment of the Premier Partner positions, this significant shift will provide many strategic benefits to the industry, including greater activation opportunities for brands across the sport. NASCAR’s inaugural grouping of Premier Partners will play a key role in consumer marketing and fan development initiatives moving forward.

“This has been a monumental year for our sport, one highlighted by significant changes in our business model to ensure long-term viability and growth,” said Steve Phelps, NASCAR President. “As we begin this new chapter, we are joined by four incredible brands with deep-rooted histories across all levels of our sport. We are honored to have this elite group represent our NASCAR Cup Series for years to come.”

The new model includes premium assets for each Premier Partner to engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports throughout the entire season. Premier Partners will collectively own a presence connected to the NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race and NASCAR All-Star Race. Additionally, all four partners will be prominently featured in multiple platforms across the sport, including integrations in broadcast, NASCAR digital and social channels, event entitlements, in-market promotions and at-track activations.

“This new model will provide our Premier Partners with a heightened level of integration and visibility across all aspects of our sport,” said Daryl Wolfe, NASCAR executive vice president and chief sales and operations officer. “Each of these partners have demonstrated their commitment to our brand-loyal fan base and we are excited about how these brands will elevate the NASCAR Cup Series.”

Busch Beer
Busch Beer returned as a NASCAR Official Partner in 2018. The deal provided the beer brand exclusive sponsorship of the Busch Pole Award, a position it will continue to maintain throughout its Premier Partnership. Additionally, Busch Beer will sponsor a NASCAR Cup Series event in 2020.

“We are continuing to evolve our presence in NASCAR because we have a significant connection to its fans and believe in the future of the sport,” said Nick Kelly, vice president partnerships, beer category and community, Anheuser-Busch. “The Premier Partner position strengthens our deep-rooted history in the sport and will provide fans with even more opportunities to enjoy a crisp, cold Busch Beer on race day.”

Anheuser-Busch’s history in NASCAR dates back decades to 1978, when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award. Additionally, Busch Beer was the “Official Beer of NASCAR” from 1988 through 1997. Beginning in 1998, Anheuser-Busch sponsored the Bud Pole Award through its Budweiser brand, which also became the “Official Beer of NASCAR” through 2007.

Coca-Cola has been involved with stock car racing for 50 years and became a NASCAR Official Partner in 1998. As a Premier Partner, Coca-Cola will continue its sponsorship of both NASCAR Troops to the Track and NASCAR Salutes, the portion of the season focused on highlighting industry-wide appreciation of the U.S. Armed Forces. Coca-Cola will also continue to own race entitlements at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway. Additionally, Coca-Cola becomes the presenting sponsor of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship trophy.

“Coca-Cola has a long history of successful collaboration with NASCAR and elevating our position to Premier Partner provides even more opportunity to connect fans to unforgettable experiences,” said John Mount, vice president, sports marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “Further integrating our two brands affords Coca-Cola the opportunity to build on our winning formula and contribute to the growth of the sport in the years ahead.”

The agreement further enhances Coca-Cola’s position as the “Official Soft Drink of NASCAR.” A signature part of the brand’s marketing strategy is the Coca-Cola Racing Family – an exclusive group of top drivers representing Coca-Cola who are featured across company advertising, promotions and packaging.

GEICO’s involvement in NASCAR spans more than a decade and the company became the “Official Insurance Provider of NASCAR” earlier this year. As one of the most fully integrated brands in the sport, GEICO will enhance its existing assets through its Premier Partnership and become the presenting partner of a season phase.

“Our affiliation with NASCAR has been successful over the past decade and expanding our role to Premier Partner was the next logical step,” said Bill Brower, assistant vice president of marketing for GEICO. “Our expanded presence will allow us to further engage the most brand-loyal fans in sports, bolster our effective marketing platform and play a prominent role in the sport in the years ahead.”

Comcast’s Xfinity brand entered the sport with a landmark 10-year partner agreement in 2015, positioned as the title sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the “Official Entertainment Partner of NASCAR.” As a Premier Partner, Xfinity will maintain its Xfinity Series sponsorship, central to its NASCAR strategy. Xfinity will also sponsor the Championship 4 elimination race of the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs at Martinsville Speedway.

“The first five years of our partnership with NASCAR has exceeded our expectations and the season-long national platform has provided increased exposure for the Xfinity brand and allowed us to demonstrate how our products and services enhance the way race fans enjoy this great sport,” said Matt Lederer, vice president of brand partnerships, Comcast. “Given the overwhelming fan reaction and how the industry has embraced the Xfinity brand, we’re thrilled to expand upon that commitment by becoming a Premier Partner of the NASCAR Cup Series, while also continuing to showcase the young stars of the NASCAR Xfinity Series.”

Throughout the past five years, Xfinity has elevated the series “Where Names Are Made,” supporting the introduction of an elimination-style Playoffs, reenergizing the Dash 4 Cash program, reimagining how champions are celebrated at Xfinity Champion’s Day at Universal Orlando Resort and has honored charitable efforts within the industry through its prestigious Comcast Community Champion of the Year Award platform. Xfinity continues to change the way fans access the sport through its Xfinity Stream app, Xfinity X1 video and Xfinity xFi internet.

Before drivers conducted their burnouts in Nashville on Wednesday, NASCAR handed out their annual industry awards during a reception. These awards are handed out to drivers, teams or sponsors in the industry that excelled in certain areas throughout the 2019 NASCAR season.

Here is the full list of Award Winners for 2019:

  • Mechanix Most Valuable Pit Crew: Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 team (Kyle Busch)
  • MOOG Problem Solver of the Year: Chris Gabehart, Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 11 Crew Chief (Denny Hamlin)
  • Buddy Shuman Award: Dennis McGlynn
  • American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award: Martin Truex Jr.
  • Marketing Achievement Award: Busch Beer
  • Busch Pole Award: Kevin Harvick
  • Sunoco Rookie of the Year: Daniel Hemric
  • Sunoco Diamond Performance Award: Kyle Busch
  • Goodyear Gold Car Award: Kyle Busch
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Sponsor Award: Mars Inc.
  • Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion Crew Chief Award: Adam Stevens (Kyle Busch)

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series NMPA Most Popular Driver Award and the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will be announced at Thursday night’s NASCAR Awards Banquet.

When the news dropped that Quin Houff would be replacing Landon Cassill in StarCom Racing’s No. 00 NASCAR Cup Series ride for 2020, it left quite a few people bummed for what the future held for Cassill.

The 30-year old driver has toiled away in sub-par equipment his entire career, despite being considered a diamond in the rough. But now, it looked like he could go without a ride at all in 2020. However, a new report from Frontstretch.com’s Dustin Albino suggests that Cassill could go full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series racing for Morgan Shepherd’s No. 89 team — if enough sponsorship funding is found, of course.

“That’s what we’re trying to do,” Cassill says in the Frontstretch report. “Ultimately, he’s got a lot of sponsorship stuff that he’s working on. There’s a lot of things that have to come together.

“I’ve told Morgan, ‘Look, if you can find sponsorship and if you can put together a full season, I definitely want to try and help you however I can.’ If I’m clear to be able to drive the car, I’ll do it. Or if I can be a part of the program, however it is, I’ll do it.”

How cool would this be?

Cassill performed incredibly well in Shepherd’s dated six-or-more year old Chevrolet Camaro in 2019.

In 10 starts for Shepherd’s organization last season, Cassill averaged a starting position of 17.1, which includes an eye-opening ninth place starting spot at Las Vegas in the fall.

In the one race that Cassill was able to run to the distance — Homestead — he came home 15th in the No. 89 car.

To read the full report from Frontstretch, which includes more quotes from Cassill and Shepherd, click here.