By Aaron Blake, @aaronmblake_
Las Vegas Motor Speedway has found another sponsor for their spring race each season, replacing the Kobalt 400. Pennzoil comes onto the scene and will sponsor next spring's race in the Pennzoil 400.
"Pennzoil is one of the most respected brands in the automotive industry. Like our speedways, Pennzoil has served generations of satisfied customers for decades," said Speedway Motorsports Inc. CEO Marcus Smith, "We are proud to have Pennzoil among our stable of blue-chip marketing sponsors at Speedway Motorsports." Pennzoil is the No. 1 synthetic oil brand in the US and has been among the leading sponsors in NASCAR as well as Team Penske Racing's Joey Logano.
Known as a fan-favorite from the high-octane atmosphere from the strip and the good racing, Las Vegas has also proved a valuable location to sponsors.
Want more great content like this? Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter!
“Las Vegas has been a valued market for the Pennzoil brand in recent years,” said Rusty Barron, Vice President of Marketing, Shell Lubricants Americas. “During that time Shell featured numerous promotions around the annual Las Vegas race including several Pennzoil-exclusive paint outs on the No. 22 race car, customer events at the track, charitable efforts with Paralyzed Veterans of America and in-market promotions with key vendors.”
Along with the new sponsorship deal comes the addition of the highly sought-after second race at Las Vegas.
The new deal comes after a decision to remove New Hampshire Motor Speedway's playoff race date due to inadequate attendance over the years.
The problems faced by New Hampshire seemed to fit hand-in-hand with what Vegas wanted. According to the tourism office proposal, last year’s Las Vegas NASCAR weekend attracted 96,400 visitors and produced an economic impact of $139 million.
Along with the new sponsor incoming, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will pay Las Vegas Motor Speedway $1 million for the annual spring race, and another $1 million for the fall race plus the $500,000 yearly marketing fund. The proposed plan with Pennzoil will begin on January 1, 2018 and run through the 2024 NASCAR season, with the possibility to usurp Homestead-Miami as the championship race.
After the $2.5 million deal with the LVCVA to add the second race, the SMI owned racetrack will become the sixth 1.5-mile track on the ten-race playoff circuit next year, and with the new addition, Las Vegas as a city will make NASCAR history.
"The city of Las Vegas becomes the only city in the history of NASCAR to have two triple-header weekends," said track president Chris Powell.
With the two tripleheaders and six scheduled NASCAR run series races for 2018, more than just race crowds and turnout allot from this. A climate like Las Vegas, Nevada will allow the people to spend weekends and money on the city and the sport, creating all around a good business model and well-needed exposure for NASCAR.
New Hampshire also loses its fall Camping World Truck Series race and Kentucky's September Xfinity Series race will also move to Vegas as part of the new deal, according to NASCAR.
Per Adam Stern, last Sunday's Kobalt 400 saw 6 million viewers, down from 7.2 million in 2016's Las Vegas race. However, this was the third consecutive week that NASCAR had the highest sports viewership of the weekend.
With the addition of Las Vegas's second race date, it joins three other Bruton Smith owned racetracks, Texas, Bristol, and Charlotte with two dates.
The Monster Energy Cup heads to Auto Club Speedway on Sunday for the third and final #NASCARGoesWest stint.