SBD/Issue 202/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NASCAR To License Driving School Formerly With Gordon's Name

NASCAR is getting into the driving school business. Later this afternoon, NASCAR will announce that it is licensing the driving school that formerly carried Jeff Gordon's name. Robert Lutz, who helped start Richard Petty's driving school in the early '90s, is the man behind the new NASCAR Racing Experience, which formerly was the Jeff Gordon Racing School. The Gordon school officially takes on the NASCAR title July 24. Lutz also runs the Mario Andretti Racing School for open-wheel cars, which he started five years ago. The NASCAR Racing Experience will apparently be similar to the Gordon school, offering passenger rides in the sport's Car of Tomorrow stock cars for $129 and an eight-minute driving experience for $429. Eleven different tracks will be utilized and that number is expected to grow. Similar ride-alongs at the Richard Petty Driving Experience range from $109-135, and its eight-lap driving experience begins at $399 at about 20 tracks. Industry insiders say the NASCAR Racing Experience will also be utilized as an asset by NASCAR's sponsorship and marketing team. As one exec said, it is "part of NASCAR's strategy to create unique assets for its partners" as a way to add value. As for the Petty camp, RPDE is working to renew its license with the sanctioning body, which expired last year. RPDE uses the license for its tagline, "authentic NASCAR entertainment." NASCAR Managing Dir of Licensed Products Blake Davidson said his office will work with both entities. Both licenses for the NASCAR and the Petty racing schools are non-exclusive.

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