Pilot Flying J Racing Sports New Look, New Partnership

Published in CSP Daily News

Mars' Combos sponsorship includes promotion at travel centers

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- The 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series season finishes up with the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, November 19. But that is just the start of a new partnership for Rusty Wallace Racing and the No. 62 Pilot Flying J race team.

The No. 62 Pilot Flying J Toyota Camry, driven by 25-year old Michael Annett, will sport a new look at Homestead as they recognize new Mars Inc. brand sponsor Combos.

"Mars Inc. is already one of our great retail partners, and this is the first time we have partnered with an in-store brand on our race car," said Laura Palenkas, Pilot Flying J vice president of marketing. "Since Combos is one of the most popular snack foods at our Pilot Flying J travel centers it's a natural tie, and we are thrilled to have them on board."

The No. 62 car will feature a bag of combos on the rear quarter panel with the treats spilling out across the rear of the car. The featured flavor of these stuffed pretzel snacks is buffalo blue cheese, but Combos come in a variety of other flavors as well.

In conjunction with the Pilot Flying J and Combos partnership for the Homestead race, Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J locations are offering a two for $4 promotion on assorted flavors of Combos through the end of November.

"This partnership called for more than just a logo decal," said Palenkas. "We worked hard to make Combos a part of our look and give Mars Inc. great on-track exposure."

Annett is currently in 10th place in the Nationwide Series championship point standings with six top-10 finishes so far this season. He has recently chosen St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis as his choice charity, also sporting the St. Jude logo onboard the No. 62 Pilot Flying J Toyota to honor patients of the pediatric cancer research center.

A 1.5-mile track in Florida, Homestead-Miami Speedway has been host to the NASCAR Nationwide Series since it opened in November 1995.

Mars Chocolate North America is the North American chocolate operations of Mars Inc. Based in McLean, Va., Mars has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience.

Mars brands include Chocolate: M&M's, Snickers, Dove, Galaxy, Mars, Milky Way and Twix; Petcare: Pedigree, Whiskas, Sheba, Cesar and Royal Canin; Wrigley: Orbit, Extra, Starburst, Doublemint and Skittles; Food: Uncle Ben's, Dolmio, Ebly, Masterfoods and Seeds of Change; Drinks: Alterra Coffee Roasters, The Bright Tea Co., Klix and Flavia; and Symbioscience: Seramis, Cirku and Cocoavia.

Pilot Flying J is based in Knoxville, Tenn., and has more than 550 travel centers in North America.