After the recent announcement that First Data will sponsor Martinsville Speedway’s fall Monster Energy Cup Series Playoff race, the company doubled down on their commitment to the sport by announcing they would be sponsoring Kyle Larson’s Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet when the series visits Martinsville for the First Data 500.
For Larson, racing at Martinsville with the race’s title sponsor on his car does not bring added pressure, but positivity to the weekend.
“It’s cool for sure, I’m excited about it,” Larson said at the unveiling of the First Data paint scheme at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “Martinsville is a cool place and a historic race track so to run the First Data car in the First Data 500 is going to be a lot of fun.”
Larson’s team owner, Chip Ganassi, echoed those sentiments.
“I am very excited to welcome First Data to an expanded role with our team. We began a relationship with First Data last season, and it’s a great to see the increased value they find in both the team and NASCAR. We look forward to providing First Data with a world class experience both on and off the track.”
Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell noted that the company’s commitment to NASCAR means a lot to his facilities ability to put on a world-class event.
“It’s really exciting to have First Data come on board for a multiyear partnership with Martinsville Speedway as the entitlement sponsor of our fall race,” Campbell said. “It’s great to see First Data use Martinsville Speedway and NASCAR as the platform to expand their brand and create a deeper public understanding of how their technology is at the heart of transactions around the world.”
Larson noted that he struggled at Martinsville Speedway early in his career, but has started to get the hang of the half-mile track in recent races.
With an “amazing” sponsor riding along, Larson said he hopes to bring home a solid finish for First Data as they expand their commitment to NASCAR, which already includes being on his car at Talladega, in addition to the Martinsville sponsorships .
“Their team is amazing and I’m looking forward to the partnership,” Larson said of First Data. “They’re definitely committed to the sport. I’m excited about it. I’m hoping we can build this partnership into something big for us and for Martinsville, as well.”
First Data Chairman and CEO Frank Bisignano, who Larson described as a “great guy” to work with, has his sights set on maximizing both the partnership with Martinsville Speedway and with Chip Ganassi Racing over the coming months.
“Martinsville Speedway is a legendary race track, and Clay Campbell and his team have been terrific partners for First Data as we add our payments solutions to the NASCAR experience for the benefit of race fans,” Bisignano said. “We are excited to partner with Chip Ganassi Racing and Kyle Larson to bring the No. 42 First Data Chevrolet SS to two historic race tracks… NASCAR presents a tremendous opportunity for First Data to connect with legions of racing fans.”
The First Data 500 is the first race in the Round of 8 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. If the winning driver is in the Playoffs, he or she would be the first to clinch a spot in the Championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Last fall, Jimmie Johnson won his ninth grandfather clock, on the way to winning his record-tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship.
Tickets for the First Data 500 are on sale and may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.