Ford Division has turned to motorcycle racing to help promote its certified used-car brand.
The Ford Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned vehicle program is the title sponsor of the Chris Carr Racing Team for 2002. Carr is the defending American Motorcyclist Association U.S. flat track champion and won U.S. flat track titles in 1992 and 1999. Flat track racing is done off road.
Mike Dennis, Ford Division manager of used-vehicle certification, said this is the brand's first venture in motorcycle sponsorship. He said the deal exposes the brand to a new audience, a group he describes as well-heeled urban bikers.
"We're going to get a lot of play out of this,'' said Dennis, a former amateur motorcycle racer. He declined to disclose the promotion's cost.
Dennis said the yearlong deal includes autograph signings by Carr at dealerships in cities where races occur. Also, race tickets will be given away.
Carr's Web site, , contains a Ford Quality Checked Certified Pre-Owned icon that can connect the user to the brand's used-car Web site.
Each race is expected to draw 10,000 to 40,000 race fans, Dennis said.