Chip Ganassi Racing, ENEOS Start Partnership With Win At Charlotte Motor Speedway
The recently signed partnership between Chip Ganassi Racing and Japanese motor oil brand ENEOS kicked off with a win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series History 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Driver Kyle Larson put his No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro in victory lane on Saturday. The race was the first of two this season that will see ENEOS as the primary sponsor of Larson’s car -- the other one will be the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 22. “We are excited because they are a Japanese company and Kyle is Japanese-American, and they are the first ones where we are able to try to use the relationship to promote that, and him, here and in Japan,” said Steve Lauletta, president of Chip Ganassi Racing Teams. In addition to the two races as primary sponsor, ENEOS will be a full-time associate partner of the No. 42 car throughout the remainder of the Nationwide Series. Lauletta told SBD Global at the Indy 500 race weekend that the ENEOS name will be featured on the B-post of Larson’s car. The B-post, which is located next to the driver's shoulder, is typically the cheapest spot for an associate sponsor decal, according to NASCAR.com. The team declined to comment on financial details of the deal.
A FIRST FOR TEAM: The sponsorship deal with ENEOS is the team’s first with a Japanese company. Lauletta said that while most of the team’s partners are spread across all or a few of the racing series it is involved in, including a number of drivers, ENEOS was very keen on teaming up with Larson. “When we were talking to them and then started talking about Kyle … they got really excited about it,” he said. “They were laser-focused on Kyle, and I think that natural connection there is something that could become a really powerful platform for them.” Lauletta added that ENEOS has already developed plans to activate the association with Larson. However, he did not give any specific details how these plans will look. Chip Ganassi Racing hopes that this partnership is going to be the start to a lot more partnerships that come in the same way. The team’s int’l driver lineup, which includes Tony Kanaan (Brazil), Scott Dixon (New Zealand), Ryan Briscoe (Australia) and Memo Rojas (Mexico), provides companies from those countries and regions with an additional incentive to partner with CGR. “We have a lot of different things that we can add on to that core partnership that surrounds our team,” Lauletta said. “There aren’t very many other teams, if any, that have the footprint that we do.”