June 13, 2010: Drivers car haulers at the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan.Maybe the economy is looking up after all? Freightliner Trucks announced last week that they’ve extended their relationship with NASCAR, as the the Official Hauler of NASCAR®, through 2015. So this proves that things aren’t all bad everywhere, right? (And that someone will sponsor this blog?)

:)

Anywhoo, check out the details of Freightliner’s partnership with NASCAR and their Run Smart Hauler Challenge that I had no idea existed:

“We’ve enjoyed a wonderful partnership with NASCAR over the last five years and look forward to continuing the relationship in the years to come,” said Melissa Clausen, director, product marketing, Freightliner Trucks. “NASCAR continues to allow us to showcase our trucks and equipment to a nationwide group of loyal NASCAR fans, as well as directly to our customer base who love the sport.”

“Freightliner’s premium product lineup has been hauling our NASCAR trailers week in and week out for many seasons,” said Jim O’Connell, NASCAR vice president of corporate marketing and international development. “NASCAR is proud to have Freightliner as an official partner and to put our trust in their haulers every week across multiple series. We are excited to extend this partnership for many more years.”

Starting the 2011 season, NASCAR trailers will be pulled by the all new Freightliner Coronado® with the Detroit Diesel DD15™ engine equipped with BlueTec® emissions technology. NASCAR, along with many of the teams Freightliner sponsors, will serve as a demonstration platform for the efficient and smart-looking machine. Each of the new Coronados will be up-fitted with the soon-to-be-released Victory Lane Edition package, which has many chrome-packaging options designed by the Chrome Shop Mafia, who is also in partnership with Freightliner Trucks.

“The new Victory Lane Edition option package will cause these already sharp-looking trucks to turn heads both on the road and off, as well as appeal to the owner-operator market that follows NASCAR,” said Clausen.

Through the partnership with NASCAR, Freightliner Trucks will continue their Run Smart Hauler Challenge. The challenge is a timed skills test among hauler drivers (backing up, blind jack knife turns, tight spots and cones) that becomes increasingly more difficult with each round. In 2010, Las Vegas Motor Speedway hosted the first of five events held throughout the season and open to both NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ and NASCAR Nationwide Series™ hauler drivers. The events will continue at Talladega Superspeedway, Chicagoland Speedway, Kansas Speedway and the Run Smart Hauler Challenge season finale at Texas Motor Speedway in November.

“We are very proud to host the Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge each season,” explained Clausen. “This is an event that truly showcases the men and women who put a lot of miles on their Freightliner Trucks moving this sport back and forth across the country. The Run Smart Hauler Challenge gives Freightliner a chance to highlight what safe and effective drivers these men and women really are.”

Freightliner Trucks not only hauls NASCAR trailers, but also is the official hauler for a number of teams competing in North America’s number-one form of motorsports. In 2009, Freightliner Trucks hauled 27 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series™ and 22 NASCAR Nationwide Series™ race-winning cars to the track.