AAA Partnership with Roush Racing to Support Teen Driving Initiative in 2006
(LOS ANGELES, Jan. 10, 2006) — The Automobile Club of Southern California announced today its participation in AAA's sponsorship of the NEXTEL Cup Series No.6 Ford Fusion to be driven by legendary racecar driver Mark Martin. The Auto Club is a AAA affiliate.
The announcement marks AAA's return to motorsports after an absence of 50 years, and coincides with a AAA news conference held today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
AAA has partnered with Roush Racing to serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 6 car during the next three racing seasons, 2006 through 2008. Racecar driver Mark Martin deferred his retirement for one year to continue piloting the No. 6 on behalf of AAA in 2006. The AAA move to NEXTEL Cup sponsorship comes in part from the positive results of motor sports marketing programs developed by some of its larger regional affiliates, such as the Auto Club, which has sponsored cars, key races and tracks in Southern California for more than 10 years.
Martin also will be featured in a series of AAA public service television announcements focusing on teen driver safety, AAA's principal public affairs and advocacy initiative in 2006.
Speaking about AAA's return to motorsports, Auto Club Tom McKernan, president and CEO, said AAA's partnership with Roush Racing will help raise AAA's profile with local racing fans and will tie-in with AAA's motorsports history. McKernan also said AAA sponsorship of the No. 6 car is a strong complement to the Association's traffic safety heritage.
A series of three 15- and 30-second public service announcements featuring Martin have been produced which center on the need for parents to set a good example for children when it comes to safe driving, according to the Auto Club.
The announcements, which introduce the phrase, "There's no better role model on the road than you," are particularly well suited for Martin who has four children.
The Auto Club has led the fight in California to enact graduated drivers' licensing legislation, Carol Thorp, managing director of Corporate Communications and Community Programs said. "In 1997, when we first became engaged in this issue, rules and regulations concerning the licensing of novice drivers were minimal," she said. Now, nine years later, California has continually strengthened the graduated driver licensing legislation we started and teen drivers are being gradually introduced into additional driving privileges as their on-the-road experience expands.
Thorp also pointed to significant contributions motorsports has made to the safety of passenger vehicles. Even though motorsports are not without risk, Thorp said many advances in safety that were developed for the racetrack have ultimately saved lives both on the track and off. Some examples of these contributions to traffic safety include rearview mirrors, traction and stability control systems, hydraulic brakes, crumple zones, seatbelts and vehicle air bags.
The first race of the NEXTEL Cup Series takes place at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona, Florida the weekend of February 19. The California debut of AAA No. 6 will be at the California Speedway during the Auto Club 500 on February 26.
The Automobile Club of Southern California, the largest affiliate of AAA, has been serving members since 1900. Today, the Auto Club's members benefit by roadside assistance, insurance products and services, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing programs, automotive testing and analysis, trip planning services and highway and transportation safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on the Auto Club's Web site at www.aaa.com.