At a news conference before the Daytona 500, Freightliner Trucks announced its official sponsorship of NASCAR and that it's returning as a 2006 sponsor of 13 individual NASCAR teams. The OEM also will host a series of pre-race events dubbed the Freightliner Run Smart Hauler Challenge open to NASCAR hauler drivers.

Both NASCAR and Freightliner Trucks share a passion for vehicles that push the envelope in terms of performance and efficiency,” said Michael E. Delaney, senior vp of marketing, Freightliner LLC. He noted that NASCAR sponsorship was a great fit for the OEM because many heavy-duty truck drivers and buyers are NASCAR fans.

For the '06 season, Freightliner Trucks will sponsor these individual NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series teams: Evernham Motorsports; Dale Earnhardt Incorporated (DEI); Penske Racing South; Hendrick Motorsports; Petty Enterprises; Haas CNC Racing; Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabatas; BAM Racing; Akins Motorsports; Rusty Wallace Racing, Inc.; Jr. Motorsports; Fitz-Bradshaw Racing; and Michael Waltrip Racing.

Freightliner has supplied hauler vehicles to these NASCAR teams for over five years. As an associate sponsor of the racing teams, the Freightliner Trucks logo will appear on each team's race car, driver suit and crew uniforms as well as the heavy-duty transporter vehicles they operate.

Freightliner's Coronado and Classic XL heavy-duty truck models will transport the sponsored race cars and team equipment from race to race for the entire '06 NASCAR season. In addition, medium-duty Freightliner Business Class M2 SportChassis models will also haul NASCAR equipment.