Typically the media tour is a chance for teams to announce new partnerships and sponsorships, although with these tough economic times, such announcements have been few and far between this year.
In one interesting move, however, Burger King has signed a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing.
Two primary Burger King paint schemes will be featured on the No. 14 Sprint Cup car in 2009. One will be at the July NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway and the other will be at the September race at Dover International Speedway. Stewart will also appear in commercials, restaurant promotions and at BKC-sponsored events.
In a statement that will come as no surprise to NASCAR followers, and especially to his fans, Stewart embraces the deal.
"I am a huge fan of Burger King restaurants, especially of the Whopper sandwich, and even received my own customized BK Crown Card," said Stewart.
Additionally, Burger King will be the exclusive quick-service restaurant sponsor of Eldora Speedway in 2009, featuring signage at the track, hospitality and other on-site activities. Since Stewart owns Eldora, he's got to be very happy about that.
In other news concerning Stewart, he will attempt to qualify a No. 80 HendrickCars.com Chevy prepared by Hendrick Motorsports for the Feb.
Mark Martin, who celebrated his 50th birthday on Jan. 9, will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series fulltime to pilot the No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevy in 2009. Martin enters his 20th full season of Sprint Cup competition and brings with him 35 wins, 243 top-five finishes and 396 top-10s.
Area favorite and former sprint-car driver Kasey Kahne now drives under a new organizational name -- Richard Petty Motorsports, a team formed by the merger of Gillette Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises. And Kahne is excited.
"The name Richard Petty Motorsports is a great name to be behind and to be part of," Kahne said. "I'm happy it's Richard Petty Motorsports and I'm excited to be part of that. I can't wait to win some races and get Richard back in the winner's circle as an owner."
Ellen Siska writes about NASCAR for The York Dispatch. She can be reached at email@example.com.