Federated Auto Parts Sponsor Nascar Race at Richmond International Raceway

By Community | May 4, 2012

Richmond International Raceway has give away one of its top sponsorship slots, announcing that Federated Auto Parts will become the title sponsor of its September Sprint Cup race for the next three years.

The race will be called the Federated Auto Parts 400, and is an opportunity for the Staunton-based company to promote its nationwide chain of auto parts stores. In Richmond, Federated’s stores carry the Fisher Auto Parts name.

The company previously sponsored the Nationwide series event in Nashville, but that track closed before the 2012 season.

“We were looking for a new location to be our cornerstone event,” company CEO Rusty Bishop said. “We’ll bring about 1,200 guests in from all around the country.”

RIR president Dennis Bickmeyer said that level of participation, as well as the company’s state roots, made it an ideal fit.

“They’ll bring in a lot of people from out of town that will get to experience the greater Richmond area,” Bickmeyer said. “Those customers are going to get to see and enjoy other things in Richmond, and that’s a benefit for all of us.”

RIR also benefits from being able to lock down the sponsorship slot. The spring race, which was run Saturday night, went without a title sponsor. The week of the race, it was dubbed the Capital City 400 presented by Virginia is for Lovers.

That means lost income for the track, which has to fight every year to protect its two Sprint Cup dates on the calendar.

“Our sport is built on sponsorship,” Bickmeyer said. “When you’re missing one, or you’re short a couple here or there, yeah, it has an impact.”

Bickmeyer described it as a natural progression for the company, which has gone from a minor sponsor to a Nationwide naming partner, and will now participate at the highest level.

“This is one of those great success stories,” he said.

Ken Schrader, who drives the Federated car at select Sprint Cup events, also was at RIR for the announcement, saying that the track is consistently a drivers’ favourite.