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Volume 24 No. 114
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Wheels & Deals: 50 Cent's SMS Audio To Be Associate Sponsor Of Swan Racing

USA TODAY's Nate Ryan noted Swan Racing yesterday announced that SMS Audio "will be an associate sponsor the next two seasons on the Toyotas driven by Parker Kilgerman and Cole Whitt" in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Rapper 50 Cent founded SMS Audio, and Swan Racing hopes his "transcendent appeal and social media sway will cause enough of a stir to help shore up its fledgling funding." Swan Racing team Owner Brandon Davis said that in addition to the Feb. 23 Daytona 500, 50 Cent also will "attend the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and probably at least two more races." Swan Racing hopes to "expand the deal to a primary sponsorship for multiple races or even a full season, which is reflective of the team's incremental approach to sponsorship" (, 2/1).

BLUEGRASS STATE: In Louisville, Jonathan Lintner noted the Sept. 20 Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway "will be sponsored by, and the track announced a continued partnership with Ford." A "caveat to the Ford agreement, which runs through 2018, stipulates that fans who arrive to Kentucky Speedway in that make of car will be guided to the front of the Ford Parking Lot" (Louisville COURIER-JOURNAL, 2/4).

PAINT BY NUMBERS: reported Kyle Busch is "scheduled to drive a special M&M's Peanut scheme" on his No. 18 Toyota at the Daytona 500. Meanwhile, STP will be the "primary sponsor" of Aric Almirola's No. 43 Ford at Martinsville on March 30 and Bristol on Aug. 23 (, 2/4).

LADY IN RED: In L.A., Louis Brewster notes NHRA Top Fuel driver Leah Pritchett will drive the Dole Racing entry in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series opener this weekend at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona "in the traditional red paint scheme" of Gumout Performance Additives. It will "remind fans of the sport of Gumout’s sponsorship in the 1970s and 1980s with the legendary 'Grumpy’s Toy,' a Pro Stock car" driven by HOFer Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins. Pritchett said, "It's the first time on the pro level I've had this kind of sponsorship" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/4).