By Mike Davey
Charlotte, North Carolina -- April 14, 2016 -- There aren't many unique driving experiences left for a man like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Thanks to CARSTAR and Axalta, he's managed to cross another off his bucket list. For the first time, Earnhardt drove his No. 88 on city streets, specifically the streets of Charlotte, North Carolina. The drive around downtown Charlotte was part of the unveiling of a new sponsor partnership with Axalta Coating Systems and CARSTAR North America.
"Since we got to unveil the car with CARSTAR and Axalta, they also put together an opportuntiy to take it around the city blocks of Charlotte, where I grew up," said Earnhardt. "I was grateful to take it up and down the road in downtown Charlotte."
Earnhardt noted that the drive drew a great response from the public, and no wonder. It's not every day you see a NASCAR roll down the street, much less one of the most famous ones in the world.
The sponsored vehicle will make its debut at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Kansas Speedway this May.
The sponsorship was announced during a teleconference on April 14, with Jose R. Costa of Driven Brands, Jim Muse of Axalta, Michael Macaluso of CARSTAR and Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the line. Costa led off by thanking Axalta and Earnhardt for their partnership. The sentiments were echoed by Muse, who also noted that Earnhardt's No. 88 is one of the few NASCAR vehicles that's actually painted.
"Dale's car is one of the few cars on the track that are painted. Most are wrapped," said Muse. "There's a distinct difference between real automotive coatings and a wrap, and when you look at Dale's car you can see the difference."
CARSTAR North America is part of Driven Brands. The company owns a number of automotive franchises, with the majority of them being retail operations. However, CARSTAR is primarily seen as a business-to-business operation, as it does most of its transactions with insurers. Axalta's main customers are collision facilities. In other words, Axalta is also primarily business-to-business. During the teleconference, Costa noted the sponsorship is certain to put the CARSTAR brand in front of millions of consumers.
For more information on Driven Brands, please visit drivenbrands.com.