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RACING NEWS: TIRE COMPANIES HEAT UP RIVALRY; NASCAR PRODUCTS
Published March 7, 1995
With its entry in the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami, Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. will offer Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. its first challenge for the title of "undisputed leader in IndyCar racing tires" in 21 years. "It is the revival of a Rubber City rivalry that has lain dormant for more than two decades" (Glenn Gamboa, Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 3/5). NASCAR MERCHANDISING BOOM: AP's Paul Newberry examines NASCAR's merchandising "boom." Nye Lavalle of Dallas-based Sports Marketing Group: "There's tremendous fan loyalty in NASCAR. NASCAR drivers as a group are far more popular than athletes in other sports." Newberry writes, "That's obvious when you attend a Winston Cup race. Nary a fan fails to deck himself out in the colors of his favorite driver." Lavalle said NASCAR is not a regional sport anymore and noted that his company was "stunned" when their polling research found that Winston Cup is "most popular" in the Rocky Mountain Region, not the Deep South as "everyone assumes." Still, many "big-time companies shun stock car racing, assuming its popularity is confined to Southerners, that it's 'somehow beneath them'" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/5). CHEVY NEWS: Chevrolet notes that Sterling Marlin's Daytona 500 victory "marked the triumphant debut of the new Monte Carlo to the NASCAR Winston Cup series" (Chevrolet).