Roush Racing confirms Viagra deal

Pill's name is set to be on Martin's car next year

Notebook

July 01, 2000|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Roush Racing and driver Mark Martin confirmed the speculation yesterday by unveiling their 2001 Winston Cup race car with the word Viagra sprawled all over it.

The announcement was billed as one of the season's biggest, but when time came to deliver the goods, all parties declined to say exactly what made the announcement so big.

How much money Pfizer Inc., maker of the anti-impotence drug for men, paid in the deal was the obvious answer. But not only wouldn't anyone give the number, they even found it difficult to pin down the deal's length. "Multiyear" was the best they could do.

Martin did say his Roush contract runs through 2005, and, when pushed, added, "I do expect Viagra to be my sponsor through the end of my contract, but that's just my personal expectations."

The new deal, which replaces the long-standing sponsorship agreement among Roush, Martin and Valvoline, reportedly is worth about $12 million a year.

Gordon's double deal

Three-time Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon and his owner Rick Hendrick announced their new agreement with DuPont in Charlotte a month ago, and, again, while Hendrick described it as "the largest deal in NASCAR," he also declined specifics.

Reports surrounding that deal suggest it ranges from $16 million to $20 million a year.

Yesterday, Hendrick Motorsports announced PepsiCo Inc. has entered a five-year deal involving all three of its divisions - Pepsi-Cola, Frito-Lay and Tropicana.

Part of that deal calls for Gordon to race his No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet in two Winston Cup races a season as the Pepsi car. The car will be painted in Pepsi colors, but Dupont's logo also will continue to be on the hood and quarterpanels.

Out of action

Washington/Irving Motorsports, which suffered through a disappointing early part of the season, has been missing from the Busch Grand National Series for the past few weeks.

"We are having some financial problems," said owner Joe Washington, the former professional football player who resides in Baltimore. "With a team operating like ours ... when you aren't funded as well as the other teams are, there's gonna be some [difficult] moments. ... But when you have a sponsor that refused to continue to participate according to the letter of his obligation, then that really puts a real big damper in what you're doing."

Washington did not name the delinquent sponsor.

Paul Revere 250

For James Weaver and Andy Wallace, the Paul Revere 250 sports car race couldn't have been better. They brought their Riley & Scott Ford home first overall in the Sports Racer class Thursday here on Daytona International Speedway's winding road course.

But, for Marylanders in the field, the evening disappointed.

The best performance was by Gunnar Racing, with Columbia's Wayne Jackson joining Joe Policastro Sr. and Jr., to finish 28th overall, eighth in Grand Touring, in their Porsche 993 RSR.

Hagerstown's Doug Mills and teammate Andy McNeil drove their Camaro to a 31st-place finish, third in the American Grand Touring class.

The most disappointed Marylanders had to be Chuck Goldsborough and Mark Bunting, who started eighth in their Pilbeam MPIR-Nissan in the SRII class but had to settle for 40th overall and eighth in class, as they completed just 15 laps.

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