CSX, NASCAR’s Regan Smith and Furniture Row Racing “Play it Safe”

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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CSX Transportation has partnered with Furniture Row Racing and the No. 78 Chevrolet Impala driven by Regan Smith in NASCAR's top-tier Sprint Cup Series as an associate sponsor for the first half of the 2012 season.

The six-race sponsorship program is built around CSX’s “Play it Safe” highway/railroad grade crossing and pedestrian safety campaign to urge pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution around railroad tracks.

Smith’s no. 78 racecar sports an actual bumper sticker that says, simply, “I BRAKE FOR TRAINS: Play It Safe Around Railroad Tracks.” The bumper sticker, which is distributed to the public at CSX-sponsored Sprint Cup races, is part of a larger multimedia campaign that also includes billboards strategically placed near railroad crossings, online advertising, social media, and other communications that urge caution. The “I BRAKE FOR TRAINS: Play it Safe Around Railroad Tracks” theme appears on all Furniture Row Racing team apparel and also adorn the team’s pit box.

CSX joined Chevrolet and Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers in the associate sponsorship role, with all three companies complementing the team’s primary sponsors, Furniture Row and Denver Mattress.

“Having an associate sponsorship arrangement with CSX Transportation along with a renewed agreement with Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers and an ongoing relationship with Chevrolet brings a new level of enthusiasm to our race team,” said Joe Garone, general manager of Furniture Row Racing. “The three corporations are leaders in their industry and we are both humbled and proud that they have chosen Furniture Row Racing as a means to enhance their branding and educational initiatives.”

“We are pleased to join with Furniture Row Racing and Regan Smith to deliver our important safety message that railroad crossings and tracks can be dangerous if you don’t obey the law,” says Cliff Stayton, Director-Community Affairs and Safety for CSX Transportation. “We are working together to make sure that everyone knows how to play it safe around railroad tracks. As an associate sponsor of the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet and Smith, we’re working with one of the hottest up-and-coming teams in NASCAR to further deliver our message to motorists to never try to beat a train at a crossing, and to pedestrians to stay off the tracks. Public awareness is a key part of our safety campaign, and we’re thrilled to be working with Regan. Even though Furniture Row Racing is a one-car team, they always seem to find a way to be in the mix. I guess, to borrow an old railroad story, they’re the ‘little engine that could.'”

Smith and CSX kicked off the 2012 Sprint Cup season in rather unusual fashion. Smith, who calls the driver’s seat of his 850-hp NASCAR stock car home, got behind the controls of a CSX locomotive at the company’s Moncrief Yard, Jacksonville, prior to the start of Speedweek at Daytona. Smith and CSX said they launched a NASCAR season “dedicated to urging motorists and pedestrians to exercise caution around train tracks.” Added Smith, “We’re honored to get the opportunity to spread such an important message. Trains can’t stop on a dime. In fact, they can take up to a mile to stop.”

Denver-based Furniture Row Racing and Regan Smith enjoyed a breakthrough Sprint Cup season in 2011. Smith and Furniture Row Racing captured their first career NASCAR victory in May 2011, winning the famed Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Smith drove his No. 78 Chevrolet to one victory, two top-fives, and five top-10s last season. He scored top-10s in NASCAR’s four biggest races—Daytona 500 (seventh), Southern 500 (first), Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway (eighth), and the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (third). Smith also competes in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series.

CSX’s NASCAR sponsorship program was developed and is being managed by Exit 10 of Baltimore, Md.

“I Brake For Trains” microsite sponsored by PTMW, Inc. (www.ptmw.com).

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