Nov 3, 2008
Sprint Cup Sponsorship Offered on eBayBy JR Nerad
We told you it was tough out there. In a couple of past columns in this space, we foretold how the faltering economy would affect the racing world. Now, J.J. Yeley, a talented racer having a great racing heritage but lacking enough sponsorship money to field a Sprint Cup car next season, has taken his case directly to eBay. He has engaged Racing Aces Marketing LLC, a company that specializes in finding racing sponsorships, to seek out willing sponsors, and that company decided that an eBay auction was the way to go, presumably after exhausting more traditional avenues.
“This is a rare opportunity to get into the highly sought-after world of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series sponsorship with a champion racer, J.J. Yeley,” said Doug Ames, president of Racing Aces Marketing. “J.J.’s amazing success as a “Triple Crown” champion racer translates into more airtime for the sponsor, and we thought eBay was the perfect partner for this once-in-a-lifetime event.”
There is certainly no mistaking J.J.’s racing talent. Son of Midget racing legend “Cactus Jack” Yeley, J.J. has made his way through the ranks to the top tier of “stock car” racing in the traditional American way -- through Midgets and Sprint cars. Now 31, Yeley was once the youngest driver in the Sprint Racing Association’s history, and at 21, he was (at the time) the youngest driver ever to qualify for the Indianapolis 500, where he finished in the top 10 as a rookie. In 2003, J.J. had what some characterize as the best USAC season ever, with 24 wins. He also took the “Triple Crown” -- winning the Midget, Sprint and Silver Crown championships in the same year. Fellow Sprint Cup racer Tony Stewart is the only other person to accomplish that feat.
J.J. followed Stewart’s footsteps into NASCAR, joining Joe Gibbs Racing in 2004, and in 2006 he became a full-time Sprint Cup driver, piloting JGR’s No. 18 car. The year 2008 marked J.J.’s third season in the Sprint Cup, and he has an impressive career record of seven top 10s, two top 5s (with a career best of 2nd at the 2007 Coca-Cola 600) and one career pole (2007 Citizens Bank 400). But despite his talent, the recent economic doldrums have left him without a ride, so he’s following a different path to try to scare up sponsorship in what is becoming a pretty bleak atmosphere. We wish him luck; he deserves a ride. But racing, as you know, is not fair.
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