PORTLAND, ORE. – Freightliner Trucks, proud sponsor of NASCAR, is pleased to announce that five of its sponsored racing teams are competing in this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
Throughout the NASCAR season, Freightliner Trucks-sponsored teams rely on their Coronado® and Classic XL heavy-duty vehicles to transport their cars, supplies, and equipment to races across the country. The following Freightliner Trucks-sponsored drivers and teams competing in the 2006 Chase include: Dale Earnhardt Jr. of Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI); Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson of Hendrick Motorsports; and Kasey Kahne of Evernham Motorsports.
“Qualifying for the Chase is an incredible achievement and we’re proud to contribute to the success of five of the ten drivers competing this year,” said Jonathan Randall, director of product marketing, Freightliner Trucks. “We look forward to cheering them on as they compete for the sport’s ultimate prize.”
Kasey Kahne credits Freightliner Trucks with helping his team reach the championship series. “Freightliner provides us with the best trucks on the road,” said Kahne. “Our Coronado ensures that our race cars and equipment make it to the track every week and has played a big part in our success this season.”
All Freightliner Coronado and Classic XL models, including those used by NASCAR teams, boast new engineering innovations and advancements that enhance every aspect of the driving experience including comfort, ride, handling, fuel efficiency, productivity, and safety.
“The response we’ve received from our race teams has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Randall. “The fact that our trucks are able to stand up to the demanding NASCAR schedule is a testament to the quality, reliability, and durability of the product we put out on the road.”
“The margin of victory in NASCAR races is extremely slim and we need to find every advantage we can to give us that competitive edge,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “The support we receive from Freightliner Trucks allows my team to focus on winning championships instead of worrying about whether or not our equipment will arrive on time.”
For long-haul applications, the Freightliner Coronado and Classic XL are available with the industry’s roomiest sleepers: the 70-inch Raised Roof SleeperCab and the 70-inch Mid-Roof XT (Extra Tall) SleeperCab for the Coronado, and the 70-inch Raised Roof SleeperCab for the Classic XL.
“Our team logs an incredible amount of miles in a short period of time so our drivers really appreciate the spacious interior and premium comfort of our Freightliner Classic XL,” said Jimmie Johnson. “It makes life on the road a lot more comfortable.”
The Freightliner NASCAR haulers also feature a variety of attention-grabbing options. Personalized with graphic wraps of team race cars and logos, each truck features Panelite stainless steel accessories, rear fender extensions, and premium LED lighting packages.
The third annual Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup began with the Sylvania 300 on Sept. 17, 2006, at the New Hampshire International Speedway and will conclude with the Ford 400 on Nov. 19, 2006, at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
In addition to its teams competing for the Nextel Cup, Freightliner Trucks also sponsors several other NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams including Penske Racing South; Petty Enterprises; Haas CNC Racing; Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabatas; BAM Racing; Akins Motorsports; Rusty Wallace Racing, Inc.; Jr. Motorsports; FitzBradshaw Racing; and Michael Waltrip Racing.
The 2006 season also marked the first year of the five-part Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge, 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 an obstacle course and test skills such as parallel parking and backing up around curves.
Beginning last March in Las Vegas with 32 drivers, the fifth and final competition will pit the top four hauler drivers against each other. The final Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006 at the Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas, TX. The finalists will be competing for a $30,000 grand prize, $15,000 second prize and $5,000 third prize.
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.