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NATIONAL REPORT — Convenience store chains continue to look to racing sponsorships as a way to drive community connections, particularly sponsoring local events tied to NASCAR.
In Charlotte, N.C., Circle K Stores Inc. is returning as the title sponsor of the 22nd and 23rd annual Circle K and Kangaroo Speed Street festival.
"We are very excited to continue our title sponsorship of Speed Street," said Tom Harman, director of marketing for Circle K Southeast. "We look forward to continue raising awareness around the event and providing a family-friendly atmosphere that will keep people coming year after year. This year, we have focused on customizing the event to increase the excitement and drive more traffic by listening to what the fans want and delivering on that promise."
The three-day festival features live music entertainment, appearances by NASCAR stars and interactive displays from a variety of sponsors.
"To secure a partner like Circle K Stores is a testament to the legacy of this event," said Jacqueline Gafrarar, executive director of the 600 Festival Association. "However, it is our shared passion and commitment to grow this annual event and deliver an even better guest experience that will make Circle K and Kangaroo Speed Street truly exceptional."
Circle K and Kangaroo Speed Street takes place during the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte. This year, it will take place May 26-28 and in 2017, May 25-27.
Oklahoma City-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores is also re-upping its relationship with NASCAR. The retail chain renewed its sponsorship with Front Row Motorsports, joining the No. 34 Ford team with Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chris Buescher.
According to Front Row Motorsports, Love's will be the primary sponsor for 18 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, including the season-opening Daytona 500 on Feb. 21 and the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20.
Love's joined the racing organization in 2013 with the No. 38 Ford driven by David Gilliland. The company has expanded its sponsorship in subsequent years, jumping from two Sprint Cup races in 2013, to 15 events in 2014 and last year's 18-race deal.