JOLIET, ILLINOIS…The third in a series of Freightliner Trucks Run Smart Hauler Challenges recently took place at the Chicagoland Speedway here. The truck drivers navigated tough the toughest course yet which pared the remaining eight contestants down to four.
The Freightliner Trucks Run Smart Hauler Challenge is an event that showcases NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series hauler drivers demonstrating their truck driving skills in Freightliner's top-of-the-line heavy-duty Coronado® model. Drivers maneuver through obstacle courses and test skills such as parallel parking and backing up around curves.
"The hauler challenge is about skill and control, not speed. The course simulates real-life driving situations," said Jonathan Randall, director of product marketing, Freightliner Trucks. He added that the hauler drivers take the competition very seriously, not only for the personal pride of being the best, but for the $35,000 grand prize, $15,000 second prize and $5,000 third prize.
These competitions are held on the same racetracks as the NASCAR NEXEL Cup Series and are scheduled to take place before the races. Locations of future Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenges are:
Talladega Superspeedway, Talladega, Ala.
Texas Motor Speedway, Dallas, Texas (finals)
"We've had nothing but great feedback regarding the performance of our transporter vehicles for our sponsored teams," Randall added. "We are excited to showcase the maneuverability and handling of our trucks at these Hauler Challenges. The remaining drivers are looking forward to the next competition while those eliminated in round one are chomping at the bit for next year's event."
"Throughout this year, from the series and team sponsorships to the hauler challenge, we will see a repeated pairing of two organizations known for innovation and performance: Freightliner Trucks and NASCAR," Randall said. "We are proud to play such a significant role in the 2006 NASCAR season."
Freightliner Trucks announced its official sponsorship of NASCAR at a press conference prior to the Daytona 500 in Daytona, Florida. The company returns as a 2006 sponsor of individual NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series racing teams.
Randall said the NASCAR sponsorship is a great fit because many heavy-duty truck drivers and buyers are also devoted NASCAR fans.
For the 2006 racing season, Freightliner Trucks is sponsoring the following individual NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams: Evernham Motorsports; Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI); Penske Racing South; Hendrick Motorsports; Petty Enterprises; Haas CNC Racing; Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabatas; BAM Racing; Akins Motorsports; Rusty Wallace Racing, Inc.; Jr. Motorsports; Fitz-Bradshaw Racing; and Michael Waltrip Racing.
Freightliner's Coronado and Classic XL heavy-duty truck models will transport the sponsored race cars and team equipment from race to race for the entire 2006 NASCAR season. Medium-duty Freightliner Business Class M2 SportChassis models will also haul NASCAR equipment and scoring trailers and some teams use the M2s as box trucks and roll backs as well, hauling show cars and engines.
Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Freightliner LLC produces and markets Class 3-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler, the world's largest commercial vehicle manufacturer.