By Steve Leer
NPCA Producer member C.R. Barger & Sons is going racing. Well, the name is, anyway.
The Lenoir City, Tenn., company has signed a two-race sponsorship deal with NASCAR Xfinity Series team Kaulig Racing. Barger Precast will appear in large letters across the hood of the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro, driven by NASCAR veteran AJ Allmendinger.
The Barger sponsorship includes Saturday’s Tennessee Lottery 250 at the new Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tenn., and the Sept. 17 Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.
“Nashville is a concrete track, and Bristol is a concrete track,” Barger Precast President Eric Barger said. “Not saying we planned that out, but it did weigh heavily on the decision on what races we chose. And both happen to be in Tennessee.
“We’ve been saying a concrete car for a concrete track.”
Barger wouldn’t disclose what the sponsorship cost, only that: “It’s affordable. It’s not cheap, but it’s well within a lot of precast plant’s budgets.”
Barger Precast isn’t new to sports sponsorships. The company has advertised on the University of Tennessee football radio network. Eric Barger said the UT radio campaign was successful, but NASCAR takes the company’s sports involvement to another level.
“Our customer base is big NASCAR fans,” Barger said. “Brand awareness, that’s No. 1 for us. Many people haven’t heard of us or dealt with us for this reason or that, so maybe this breaks the ice.”
Barger and his family met Allmendinger at the Kaulig technical center in Lexington, N.C., earlier this week.
“AJ gave us a tour of the shop and showed us his car. He’s really a very personable, nice guy and very down to earth,” Barger said. “(Kaulig’s) values and our values are much the same. It’s about family and what we can do to push the team forward. If AJ can help another Kaulig driver win he will, and if we can help someone here succeed, we will. So it was a very good fit.”
Whether Allmendinger wins, finishes or drops out because of car trouble or a crash, Eric Barger says the sponsorship is worth it.
“As AJ says, he wants to win the race or put on a good show and get the sponsors out there.”
Nashville Superspeedway is a 1.33-mile oval in Lebanon, Tenn. The Tennessee Lottery 250 is a 188-lap, 250-mile race. The green flag drops at 3:30 p.m. EST Saturday. Race fans can watch the Tennessee Lottery 250 on the NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports app, or listen on the MRN radio network.
Steve Leer is the communications manager at NPCA.