KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Bass Pro Shops, a leading supplier of outdoor gear and equipment, has partnered with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to sponsor the No. 39 Chevrolet Impala driven by Ryan Newman in the July 2 Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Newman proved strong in the season-opening Daytona 500, as the Stewart-Haas Racing driver led nine times for a race-high 37 laps before two late-race accidents conspired to leave him 22nd. He’ll look to pick up where he left off in February when he takes the wheel of the No. 39 Bass Pro Shops/NRA Chevrolet in the Coke Zero 400.
“We led the most laps in the Daytona 500, which was a great feat for us as a team,” said Newman, winner of the 2008 Daytona 500. “We feel that we were four laps away from winning that race. Time-wise, that’s two-and-a-half minutes. To be two-and-a-half minutes away from something so big and get crashed is pretty disappointing. But we still left Daytona knowing we were in the mix to bring home the trophy, and that was a big deal for us. Daytona is a great place to race and our run back in February proved that we have a really good restrictor-plate package. We’re looking forward to getting back there and putting Bass Pro Shops and the NRA in victory lane.”
The one-race primary sponsorship is an extension of Bass Pro Shops’ overall relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing and team co-owner Tony Stewart. Bass Pro Shops has served as an associate sponsor of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team’s inception in 2009 and has been a primary sponsor of Stewart’s World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team since 2005. The outdoor retailer has also been a personal sponsor of Stewart since 2002.
“Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman are not only racers, but they’re also outdoorsmen and conservationist,” said Johnny Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. “This was an excellent opportunity for us to connect our partners and our customers, all while highlighting and saluting the NRA’s conservation efforts.”
“We’re obviously very proud to expand our relationship with Bass Pro Shops,” Stewart said. “They’ve been a great partner of mine for years, and as they’ve grown, so have their ties to our racing endeavors, starting with our grassroots motorsports program in the World of Outlaws and continuing with our NASCAR team.
“Johnny Morris is a great friend and strong supporter of Stewart-Haas Racing, and we’re honored to have him and the NRA with us in a much larger capacity at Daytona.”
Headquartered in Springfield, Mo., Bass Pro Shops has a long and natural affiliation with the NRA. The NRA is well-known for its defense of the second amendment, but its conservation initiatives are just as robust, assuring quality hunting opportunities for future generations through the managed use of wildlife and other natural resources.
“The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona provides an opportunity for three great brands – NASCAR, Bass Pro Shops and the NRA – to join in promoting and securing the rights and freedoms of all Americans to enjoy the great outdoors,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president and CEO.
The NRA’s conservation efforts are championed by its ECHO (Environment, Conservation and Hunting Outreach ) Program, where initiatives include restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat for both game and non-game wildlife species, conservation education programs, improving hunting access and opportunities, and shooting range projects. In addition, the NRA awards the Women’s Wildlife Management/Conservation Scholarship each year and helps fund grants to conservation groups through the NRA Foundation. For these efforts, LaPierre was named the Bass Pro Shops 2010 “Conservation Partner of the Year”.
“All of us at Bass Pro Shops were proud to honor Wayne and the NRA for everything they have done for all Americans to protect our right to hunt and for their conservation efforts that help protect wildlife and their habitat,” Morris added.
About Bass Pro Shops Group:
Bass Pro Shops® operates 56 retail stores in 26 states and Canada and is visited by over 110 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops also conducts an international catalog and internet retailing operation. Its American Rod & Gun® wholesale division sells to more than 7,000 independently-owned retail stores worldwide. Outdoor World® Incentives sells Bass Pro Shops gift cards through approximately 132,000 retail outlets across the United States. Bass Pro Shops also has a restaurant division with 26 locations. The company’s Tracker Marine Group® (www.trackerboats.com) manufactures and sells Tracker®, Nitro®, SunTracker®, Tahoe®, Grizzly® and Mako® boats through Bass Pro Shops retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide. The Resort Group (www.bigcedar.com) includes Big Cedar Lodge® and other resort properties with restaurants and golf courses. For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops® store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bassproshops.
About Stewart-Haas Racing:
Stewart-Haas Racing is the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by two-time Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. The team fields two entries in the elite Sprint Cup Series – the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala for Stewart and the No. 39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala for 2008 Daytona 500 winner Ryan Newman. Based in Kannapolis, N.C., Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 140,000-square-foot facility with more than 150 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing and on Twitter at @StewartHaasRcng.