Tracks Selling Naming Rights—A Brief History

This weekend will see both the Cup and Truck Series racing at World Wide Technology Raceway, aka Gateway Motorsports Park, formerly known as “Gateway!”.  While most races have a title or presenting sponsor (or both), only a few tracks have sold their naming rights.  Here’s a quick look back:

Charlotte in its Lowe's Motor Speedway years
CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY: This 1.5-mile speedway (and ROVAL) was known as “Lowe’s Motor Speedway” from 1999-2009.  The latter half of their naming rights deal was during the ascendency of Jimmie Johnson in the Lowe’s-sponsored car, thus leading to years of inane “Lowe’s owns the naming rights, but Jimmie owns the track!” quips.

SONOMA RACEWAY: From 2002-2011 the Northern California road course was known as “Infineon Raceway”, named for semiconductor manufacturer Infineon Technologies.  Just to keep things straight: Sonoma is the town, Sears Point is the specific location, Infineon was the sponsor, and Ricky Rudd’s the one who got screwed out of a win.

LOIRP in its ORP years
LUCAS OIL INDIANAPOLIS RACEWAY PARK: Originally Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP), the Indy-area short-track was renamed O’Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) in 2007, then re-renamed Lucas Oil Raceway (LOR) in 2011, before taking on its current name in 2022 (LOIRP).  Too bad a company named, oh, say, Banners United didn’t take over sponsorship (BUIRP).

PHOENIX RACEWAY: The mile long flat track was renamed ISM Raceway in 2018 and 2019.  ISM was a purveyor of video boards that could count and record the number of people watching them at any time.  My research shows no trace of the company in 2024—but maybe that’s just what they want us to think!

WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY RACEWAY: The egg-shaped track, located near St. Louis, was known as Gateway Motorsports Park until selling its naming rights in 2019.  The company is a technology services provider, providing such technology services as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.  Maybe AI can come up with a steady way for Nascar to administer fines and penalties? updated four times weekly

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