BRISTOL, Tenn., March 22, 2007 – One of NASCAR’s most popular drivers, Dale Earnhardt Jr, is making a bold statement on and off the track as he prepares for the Sharpie® MINI 300 NASCAR Busch Series race this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway (BMS).
The new Sharpie/Dale Earnhardt, Inc. relationship will officially kick off Saturday when Dale Jr steps behind the wheel of the new DEI No. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, co-sponsored by Sharpie and Budweiser.
Race fans will get a glimpse of the race when Sharpie introduces the first-ever Dale Jr No. 8 Sharpie marker, rolling out in stores now. Dale Jr will unveil the marker and new paint scheme Thursday, March 22, at 5 p.m. at BMS’s Tower 8, where he will sign Sharpie’s giant autograph wall. Dozens of children representing Speedway Children’s Charities will join him, lending their signatures and support to the Sharpie “Autographs for Action” campaign to benefit Speedway Children’s Charities with $10,000 in funds and supplies.
Sharpie New No. 8 Paint Scheme
"Dale Jr runs a limited number of Busch Series races each year, and we feel very fortunate it will be with DEI and Sharpie in the Sharpie MINI 300," said Howard Heckes, president of Sanford, L.P., the maker of Sharpie products.
“We’ve had some success at Bristol,” said Earnhardt, “so we’re really looking forward to adding the Sharpie race to our program and taking Sharpie and Budweiser to Victory Lane. Sharpie has such a great presence and history at Bristol, and I hope we can add to that.”
The Sharpie MINI 300 is Dale Jr's second Busch race this season. Dale Jr is a former winner at Bristol, going to Victory Lane in the 2004 Sharpie 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race.
Bold Bristol Billboard
DEI and Dale Jr’s new Sharpie partnership also includes a bold new addition to the Bristol Motor Speedway landscape - a giant three-story billboard covering Tower 8 and featuring Dale Jr’s larger-than-life likeness. The banner, which also includes an image of the Sharpie No. 8 paint scheme and the new No. 8 marker, will be unveiled Thursday along with the No. 8 marker. It will become a permanent fixture at BMS throughout the 2007 race season.
Dale Jr, DEI and Sharpie
The Dale Earnhardt Jr No. 8 Sharpie marker is the only marker endorsed by Dale Jr. Available in black fine point and imprinted with his autograph and No. 8, it is rolling out now in select stores nationwide where office products are sold.
Sharpie markers are available in 39 colors and a variety of tip sizes – from Sharpie Retractable markers with one-click convenience to Sharpie MINI markers for perfect portability to Sharpie Accent highlighters for bold highlights.
Dale Jr. is in his eighth full season of NASCAR Nextel Cup competition at DEI with 17 victories, including the 2004 Daytona 500. In the Busch Series, he has 22 wins and two championships. He is one of only three drivers to win the "Most Popular Driver" award four consecutive times, and the only third-generation NASCAR champion. He follows his legendary father, Dale Earnhardt, a seven-time Cup champion, and grandfather Ralph Earnhardt, who was a champion in NASCAR's Sportsman Series.
For more information on the Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Dale Jr and Sharpie partnership, visit www.sharpie.com.
About Sharpie Autographs for Action
Autographs for Action annually seeks one million autographs as part of its program to give away $1 million in funds and supplies for community groups, charitable organizations and schools nationwide (go to www.sharpie.com). Sharpie will donate $10,000 in funds and supplies to Speedway Children’s Charities as part of the Bristol autograph drive.
About Speedway Children’s Charities
Speedway Children's Charities (SCC) provides funds to organizations that meet the direct needs of children. From mentoring programs to camps for special needs children, SCC best affects children's lives by supporting organizations that work tirelessly to see that children's needs are met and that no child is left behind regardless of illness, social environment, or disability.
For 45 years, Sharpie has been the popular brand of permanent marker associated with the autograph experience. Newell Rubbermaid’s Office Products Group, maker of Sharpie® markers, is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization and technology products, including such well known brands as Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, DYMO® Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Visit www.sharpie.com for more information.