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ATLANTA — QuikTrip Corp. is bringing back its NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for a second year in partnership with the nonprofit organization Folds of Honor, which provides educational opportunities to families of military members who have been killed or disabled while on active duty. The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 will take place Feb. 28 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, reported Tulsa World.
In 2015, QuikTrip won acclaim for funding the race sponsorship in a way that emphasizes Folds of Honor's importance.
"The level of commitment QuikTrip has made to Folds of Honor is pretty extraordinary. It's not something they just do. It's something they firmly believe in," stated Ed Clark, president and general manager of Atlanta Motor Speedway. "From day one, that's pretty much how this thing has been structured. It's pretty rare. I've seen sponsors involve a second organization, but I've never seen them basically put the kind of effort that they've put in for the sake of benefiting someone like Folds."
While QuikTrip has not disclosed the terms of its NASCAR sponsorship, Sports Business Journal estimated the partnership is valued at approximately $1 million.
Last year, the convenience store chain had only three months to prepare for its race. But this time around, the company has been preparing for the 2016 race for a full year now.
In 2015, QuikTrip's focus was on introducing the Folds of Honor story. This year's focus is on helping increase donations to the nonprofit to fund more scholarships, according to the report.
"The excitement has been building all year," said Chuck Barton, vice president of marketing for QuikTrip. "We started as soon as the race ended last year in getting prepared for the next year and, of course, as the months get closer and closer, it gets more and more exciting because of the different things that we are adding."
QuikTrip and Folds of Honor will have an even bigger presence at fan events, and it will bring an Oklahoma flair with Bixby singer Corey Kent White making appearances and performing, according to Tulsa World. Many local QuikTrip employees will be at the speedway helping everywhere from the Fan Zone to the media work room.
The company's sponsorship may extend to a third year. It is contracted for two years, with the option of a third.
"With the support from QuikTrip, the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 race and many other partners, Folds had a record year in donations and scholarships," said Major Dan Rooney, founder of Folds of Honor. "We received roughly more than $18 million in donations and were able to award more than 2,500 scholarships in 2015 alone. Since 2007, Folds has awarded over 10,000 scholarships."
QuikTrip operates more than 700 convenience stores in 11 states. Atlanta is its largest market at 127 stores.