Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK; FDA Rule Costs Two Teams Their Sponsors

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

MOTORSPORTS NOTEBOOK; FDA Rule Costs Two Teams Their Sponsors

Article excerpt

New government regulations for smokeless tobacco sponsorships couldn't have come at a worse time for two NASCAR teams. Ron Hornaday Jr. must remove Longhorn snuff from his Craftsman World Trucks Series Chevrolet, and Greg Biffle must drop RedMan from his Nationwide Series Ford by the end of June.

The Food and Drug Administration will have new rules that will further restrict the way tobacco companies can market their products. As of June 22, cigarette and smokeless tobacco sponsorships can't be included in any athletic, musical, social, cultural or team-related event.

Saturday's Tech-Net Auto Service 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway will be the final race for RedMan on the No. 27 Ford, owned by Baker Curb Racing.

Kevin Harvick owns Hornaday's truck. The team learned 18 months ago of the new regulations. But even with a head start, it hasn't been able to find a replacement.

"Yeah, at the end of June, obviously, Longhorn comes off the truck. We have known that for about a year now, so they have about half of them sold, and the truck will run every week regardless, but [we're] still looking for sponsorship for about half of those races for the second half of the truck series season," Harvick said.

KENTUCKY RACE ON HOLD

The Kentucky Speedway cleared its biggest hurdle in getting a Sprint Cup Series race last month, when the track's original owners dropped their antitrust lawsuit against NASCAR. But that doesn't mean the track, located between Cincinnati and Louisville, Ky., will get a race next year.

Speedway Motorsports Inc., which bought the track in 2007 will have to make improvements to the 1.5-mile speedway, including the addition of seats, before it can host a Sprint Cup race, the company reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Kentucky, which already hosts Camping World Truck and Nationwide series races, has 69,000 seats, which would make it one of the smallest on the schedule.

Once the work is completed, SMI still has to figure out a way to get a race. …

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