Day three of the NASCAR Media Tour came early in the morning at a hangar at Concord Regional Airport. It might seem strange to have a NASCAR function at an airport hangar, but it was soon to be very clear as the principals of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and Chip Ganassi Racing took the stage.
After the usual introductory remarks by Dr. Jerry Punch, it was announced that a new sponsor had been signed for all Ganassi racing teams. Cessna Aircraft Company announced a strategic partnership with Ganassi for multiple races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, the IZOD IndyCar series, and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. This partnership extends Cessna’s presence across all three series.
“Clyde Cessna founded this company on our customers’ need for speed. Today, performing with precision to drive success is the purpose of business aviation,” said Scott Ernest, Cessna’s President and CEO. “The racing industry is built on those same principles—each day teams are moving as fast as they can to get from point a to point b and win, which is why this partnership is such a natural fit for both Cessna and Ganassi. This gives us a strong presence as we invest in the sport.”
Cessna, along with sister companies Bell Helicopter and E-Z-GO, is incorporated into every race to showcase transportation solutions to the industry including air travel to and from host cities, helicopter transport from airports to racing venues and ground transportation on site.
Cessna will sponsor multiple races on the No. 1 Chevrolet SS of Jamie McMurray in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, sharing assets with Bell and E-Z-GO, one race on the No. 10 Honda with Dario Franchitti in the IZOD IndyCar Series and one race with Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the GRAND-Am Rolex Sports Car Series on the 01 Dinan-prepared BMW.
Ganassi looks forward to the partnership.
“With almost 70 races a year separated by hundreds of miles with little time in between, I rely on business aviation to help me keep driving my business and to keep winning,” Ganassi said.
It also was mentioned that Bass Pro Shops had lessened their support to the Sprint Cup teams to only two races in 2013, making the Cessna announcement very important to the organization.