LAVERGNE, Tenn. (March 31, 2008) — Hennessy Industries Inc., maker of Coats-brand tire changers and wheel balancers, treated about 275 of its employees and their family members to a day at the races recently in support of its one-race sponsorship deal of NASCAR driver David Ragan.
The sponsorship deal was a one-race arrangement at the NASCAR Nationwide Series' Pepsi 300 race March 22 at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway with Roush Fenway Racing, which campaigns Mr. Ragan in a Ford Fusion, and Discount Tire Co. (DTC), Mr. Ragan's normal sponsor.
Hennessy worked out a deal with Discount Tire to be a secondary sponsor for the No. 6 car for the season, according to Ron Newton, Hennessy's executive vice president of sales and marketing. With the Nashville race track in Hennessy's backyard, DTC asked if Hennessy wanted to be the primary sponsor, “and we jumped at the opportunity,” Mr. Newton said.
Mr. Ragan finished 21st in the race, two laps behind the winner, but he managed to hold onto fourth place in the Nationwide Series season standings after five races.
This was Hennessy's third go-round at NASCAR sponsorship—in 2006 it worked a similar deal with Discount Tire on DTC's car that year, the No. 41 Dodge driven by Reed Sorenson, Mr. Newton said.
Mr. Ragan's car ran in red, white and blue colors with Coats as the primary sponsor and Discount Tire as associate sponsor. In addition to the employee/family event the day of the race, Mr. Ragan—the 2007 rookie of the year in NASCAR's primary support series—toured Hennessy's facilities in nearby LaVergne on the Thursday before the race.