K&N To Be Title Sponsor For Top Developmental Series

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) announced today that K&N Engineering, Inc., will be the title sponsor for NASCAR’s top developmental series, formerly known as the NASCAR Camping World Series East and West, beginning in 2010.

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series will continue to crown champions through separate schedules on the East and West Coast. The seven-year agreement illustrates NASCAR’s commitment to the grassroots foundation of the sport.

“K&N is a company that epitomizes the spirit of NASCAR,” said NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France. “The developmental series are a tremendously integral part of the past, present and future of NASCAR – from the great champions throughout the years to the pipeline of tremendous racers that have made their way up the NASCAR ladder to our national series. Having a company with the dedication to the sport and the automotive industry that K&N does speaks volumes to the importance we place in the series.”

The NASCAR K&N Pro Series encompasses NASCAR’s oldest stock car series in the West, which dates back to 1954, and the East that has evolved from the former Busch North Series. It runs on a challenging combination of speedways, short tracks and road courses, and the series has made its mark throughout the years with tough competition and exciting racing.

The Riverside, Calif.-based K&N Engineering is the inventor and leading innovator of reusable cotton gauze filter technology for automotive applications. K&N, which has grown from a family-run business to a global company, traces its involvement with NASCAR back to the days of supplying parts for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at the old Riverside Speedway.

“We are thrilled to be the Official Developmental Series Partner and sponsor of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series,” said Steve Rogers, chief executive officer of K&N Engineering. “Our roots in NASCAR go back to the 1970s and this feels like a partnership long overdue. After supporting grassroots and professional racing for decades, we love the idea of supporting a developmental series that provides great racing excitement while developing the top tier drivers of tomorrow.”

K&N will make its on-track debut as the series entitlement sponsor at the 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown – NASCAR’s prestigious postseason event which has earned the moniker of the “Daytona 500 of short-track racing.”

The event will be Jan. 29-30 at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.) and will air live on SPEED and SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.

The all-star event brings together the variety of talent that is the hallmark of the series – the top up-and-coming drivers in NASCAR and the experienced veterans who make the series their home.

In 2003, NASCAR introduced a combined rule book for its East and West Series. In recent years, the series has implemented a lower-age limit that has allowed it to become a springboard for top young drivers looking to make the jump to one of NASCAR’s three national series. In addition, cost-savings initiatives like the SPEC engine and composite body, and competition rules such as the double-file restart have further established the series identity.

The history of both the East and West is replete with short-track legends such as Ray Elder, Jack McCoy, Hershel McGriff, Andy Santerre, Kelly Moore and Mike Stefanik, along with drivers that have gone on to make their mark in the sport’s highest levels like Kevin Harvick, Ricky Craven, Ron Hornaday Jr., Martin Truex Jr., David Gilliland, and Steve Park. The series has, most recently, been the proving ground for the next wave of stars like Joey Logano, Jason Bowles, Ryan Truex, Brian Ickler, Trevor Bayne, and Austin Dillon.

Truex became just the second rookie in East history to win the championship in 2009, while Bowles claimed the West crown in his third season.

Diversity is another trademark of the series. In 2008, Matt Kobyluck became the first Native American to win a NASCAR developmental series championship. Last season, Paulie Harraka provided the Drive for Diversity initiative its first series win, and a steady influx of female and minority competitors have been part of the series.

The series also has a proven track record of producing crew members, crew chiefs, and track and series officials for NASCAR’s three national series.

K&N replaces series sponsor Camping World, which had been the title sponsor of the long-running NASCAR Grand National Division for the previous two seasons, before it moved up to become the sponsor of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The 2010 season for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series will begin March 27 with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East opener at Greenville Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C., and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West opener at All American Speedway in Roseville, Calif. The series will be televised on SPEED.

Both schedules will end during part of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend. The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion will be crowned at Dover International Speedway on Friday, Sept. 24, and the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West at Phoenix International Raceway on Thursday, Nov. 11.

K&N exists as both the sales and brand leader for washable performance filters, and maintains a stocking catalogue of over 4,500 part numbers, including an extensive line of factory replacement drop-in air filters, intake systems, Wrench-Off Oil Filters, a complete line of Pro-Series Engine Breather Filters and their new Commercial Grade Heavy Duty Air Filters.

Employing over 500 people, K&N has sold performance filters and intake systems to millions of customers for four decades. Based in California within a mile of where the business started, K&N is proud to build their products in the USA and remain true to its founders belief in selling products that perform as promised. K&N’s headquarters sit right in the main plant where the air filters are hand-made with good old American quality. Occupying 400,000 square feet in the City of Riverside, K&N is one of the area’s largest private employers offering a haven for a performance minded group of individuals dedicated to the ideal that what they build is who they are.