Drivers, their teams, and NASCAR fans have been eagerly anticipating this weekend since it was announced last year. The start of the 2022 Cup Series season with the first-ever Clash at the Coliseum in LA has generated a buzz in the sport not felt in years.
On Saturday morning, California time, the first cars took to the track and turned laps during multiple practice sessions. Toward the end of practice, Fox’s Mike Joy turned heads with a comment, revealing that UFC President Dana White is now invested in NASCAR. And Clint Bowyer approved.
Mike Joy reveals partnership between UFC’s Dana White and NASCAR
After the much-anticipated debut of the Next Gen car on the custom-built track inside the iconic LA Coliseum and near the end of the two hours of practice, the Fox broadcast team of Mike Joy, Clint Bowyer, and Tony Stewart described the action from a camera angle looking out the front window of Kevin Harvick’s car toward the back of Ross Chastain’s car.
The rear of the Trackhouse Racing car was solid red with large all cap letters in light yellow that read, “HOWLER HEAD.”
“Dana White from the UFC involved with that car just ahead,” Joy said of Chastain’s car. “One of his brands.”
“Howler Head,” Clint Bowyer jumped in, about to offer some free advertising for the Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. “I’ve had some of that. It’s pretty darn good, boys.”
That was it. Not another word about it.
Dana White announces partnership with NASCAR team
Earlier this week Dana White and Trackhouse founder Justin Marks announced a marketing partnership formed to create growth for both entities and alignment on common initiatives in sports, entertainment, and sponsorships.
The first collaboration of the partnership is White’s bourbon whiskey company serving as the primary sponsor of Chastain’s car in the Clash.
“I love the vision that Justin Marks has for Trackhouse,” White said in a statement. “I’m excited to be a part of it and my two favorite things are fast cars and Howler Head. I’m so excited that we’ll be making our first NASCAR appearance this weekend. This is an absolute badass car, and I can’t wait to see it compete on the track at the Coliseum on Sunday.”
Isn’t new to NASCAR
On the surface, Dana White and the UFC partnering with NASCAR might appear to be strange bedfellows. It’s not.
Last year, the head of the UFC, which has its headquarters located in Las Vegas, served as the grand marshal during the Cup Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and gave the official starting command.
White is a successful entrepreneur, having taken the mixed martial arts business from a small operation into an organization that sold for more than $4 billion in 2016. Marks has already proven to be a team owner who thinks outside the box, partnering with entertainer Pit Bull as co-owners at Trackhouse.
White’s partnership with the racing organization could provide for some interesting cross-promotion between the two sports in the future. And with NASCAR making a major push to attract new fans, this appears to be a great opportunity to do just that.