Toyota Named Title Sponsor of NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Event at Sonoma Raceway
Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. has signed a multi-year agreement to become the title sponsor of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Sonoma Raceway.
The 29th annual Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals will be held July 29-31, 2016, an event that is a tradition-rich stop in the legendary three-race NHRA Western Swing. The race will feature competition in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle and will be televised on the FOX national broadcast network.
This extends a long-running sponsorship between the auto maker and Sonoma Raceway. Toyota has served as co-title sponsor of the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event since 2007, as well as the raceway's official vehicle.
Toyota's involvement in NHRA began in 2002 with the arrival of the Celica-bodied Funny Car. The program has risen to new heights over the past eight years as Toyota-sponsored race teams have won six world championships, with the most recent being Antron Brown, who clinched this year's Top Fuel title on Sunday at the Toyota National in Las Vegas.
"Sonoma Raceway's relationship with Toyota has been fundamental to our success as promoters," said Steve Page, president and general manager of Sonoma Raceway. "We couldn't be happier than to expand their presence at the track and with our premier events."
Toyota, which has held the status of the official car of the NHRA since 2014, currently sponsors three Top Fuel teams and five Funny Car teams. Top Fuel drivers are Brown, Shawn Langdon and Richie Crampton. Toyota's Funny Car roster includes Cruz Pedregon, Del Worsham, Alexis DeJoria, Tony Pedregon and Chad Head.
"We appreciate Toyota's ongoing commitment to NHRA and look forward to working with them during the famed Western Swing to develop exciting activation plans around their sponsorship of the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals," said Gary Darcy, senior vice president of sales and marketing, NHRA. "During the past decade, Toyota has become an integral part of the sport through very successful participation at the team level, highly visible event entitlements and by becoming the official car sponsor of the NHRA."
"Toyota is looking forward to expanding our already successful partnerships with both Sonoma Raceway and the NHRA," said Steve Appelbaum, Toyota national manager of engagement marketing. "We're thrilled to become the title sponsor for the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals."