How does the Kobalt Truck Series sound?
A little odd, I'll admit, but it might be a name we have to get used to; Craftsman's contract to serve as title sponsor for NASCAR's truck division runs out at the end of the season, and a NASCAR.com report says Kobalt Tools is a leading candidate to land the next contract. According to the report, Stanley Tools and NAPA have also inquired about title sponsorship.
As if NASCAR fans didn't have enough to get used to, what with both the Cup and Grand National Series having new sponsors this season. Sprint replaced Nextel as title sponsor of the Cup Series, while Busch beer gave way to Nationwide in the Grand National ranks.
I'm still having a hard time trying not to call it the Busch Series.
If Kobalt were to land the deal, which is said to be in the seven-figure range, it would likely also become the Official Tool of NASCAR (whatever that means). And since Kobalt is a Lowe's brand, there's the potential for Lowe's to replace The Home Depot as the Official Home Improvement Warehouse of NASCAR at season's end.
The IndyCar Series is also looking for a primary series sponsor, having been without one for the past couple years. Kodak and Subway are said to be in talks with the series about title sponsorship, even thought both companies have a strong presence in NASCAR.
In financially lean times, any motor racing body who can find a sponsor is already ahead of the game, and it's nice to see the Truck Series on the verge of a new deal. NASCAR truck racing is probably one of the best-kept secrets in the world of American motorsports, while a revitalized IRL can only benefit from the exposure and dollars a title sponsor would give them.
Remember, NASCAR's monumental growth didn't really start until R.J. Reynolds slapped the Winston brand on the Cup Series all those years back. Sponsors = money, and in auto racing, money = everything.