posted on May, 27 2004 @ 07:02 PM
i'm gonna have to find myself one of their tee shirts, would be an instant classic
Bottom line: Edgy sponsor name, OK'd by NASCAR
By Chris Jenkins, USA TODAY
For a sure sign of NASCAR's mainstream appeal, one need only examine the logos of corporate titans displayed on the sides of race cars: The Home
Depot. Lowe's. Target. DuPont. Boudreaux's Butt Paste.
As they say in NASCAR land, come again?
Driver Kevin Ray will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut next weekend at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. Under normal circumstances, such an
event would probably pass without much notice; Ray, 26, is a journeyman driver in the grassroots ARCA Re/Max series.
But with the Hollywood crowd wearing '70s-style mesh-back "trucker" ballcaps these days — are trucker hats still in, by the way? — there's a
slight chance his car's offbeat sponsorship will achieve redneck-chic status. Plans to sell hats, T-shirts and scale-model cars already are in the
Ray says the product isn't a joke. His wife, he swears, actually was using it to soothe his two small children's sore tailpipes even before the
sponsorship deal was struck. But yes, its name is intended to elicit a chuckle or two.
"I think it's going to get us a lot of publicity," Ray says.
Why? "Because it's the Butt Paste Ford."
Should he get the chance to plug his sponsor's product on TV, will he be able to keep a straight face?
"Of course, now that I know what the product is," he says.
NASCAR officials occasionally nix edgy sponsorships. Earlier this year they wouldn't allow one team to advertise a Web site with the word "redneck" in
its address. But officials seem to be OK with this product, which, after all, is sold at Wal-Mart and Target.
"I think it's very fitting that Junie Donlavey, who has brought more drivers into the world of NASCAR than any other owner, is now being sponsored by
a baby product," says Jim Hunter, NASCAR's vice president of communications.
Ray will be driving the No. 90 car owned by Donlavey, who just turned 80 and has been in stock-car racing since 1950.
Although his team won only won race in all those years, with driver Jody Ridley in 1981, the team served as a springboard that sent several drivers
and a countless number of pit crew members to bigger teams.
In recent years Donlavey has had trouble finding sponsorship and has shown up only sporadically at the racetrack. But with the new deal, he's hoping
to show up more often.
In a news release from the team, Boudreaux was quoted as saying he "can't wait to see Kevin in the Butt Paste Ford moving through the field."
But given the team's rustiness and Ray's inexperience, it's a long shot. If they even make the show, they'll likely be bringing up the rear.