JUNO BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 13, 2011) — TBC Retail is stepping up its presence in the drag racing arena this year, agreeing to back teams in all three of the NHRA's top classes: Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock.
The latest move involves veteran racer Johnny Gray, who raced the Pro Stock class last year with NTB/Tire Kingdom/Merchant's Tire/Big O sponsorship, but who will move to the Funny Car class this year as part of Don Schumacher Racing.
Mr. Gray, 57, returns to the Funny Car class where he competed from 1999-2004 and again in 2006.
“Johnny has done a great job both driving for and representing our brands this past season,” said Bob Crostarosa, TBC Retail senior vice president marketing and advertising. “…We believe teaming him with the resources of a great organization like Don Schumacher Racing is the perfect way to get the Service Central brand in front of the drag racing fans while really increasing our chances to earn some (trophies) along the way.”
Mr. Gray will pilot one of four Dodge Stratus Funny Cars being campaigned this year by Don Schumacher Racing.
The deal with Schumacher Racing is in addition to renewals of sponsorship agreements with S.K.I. Racing Inc.'s Pro Stock team and Paul Richards Racing's Top Fuel dragster.
S.K.I. Racing will field a TBC Retail-liveried Pontiac for Shane Gray, Johnny Gray's 38-year-old son, who finished fourth in the 2010 Pro Stock championship.
Mr. Crostarosa earlier called the Grays “excellent ambassadors for our family of stores.”
Paul Richards Racing driver Dom Lagama finished 23rd in the 2010 Top Fuel championship, competing in just four of the series' 23 events.
Other racing activities on the agenda this year for TBC Retail include:
- Being the event sponsor for the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 10-13; and
- Sponsoring Graham Rahal in the IndyCar series in a car being prepared by successful IndyCar team owner Chip Ganassi.