Supporting a Charity, Energizing a Fan Base, Fueling a Comeback and Growing a Business
Bristol, TN (March 5, 2011): One group of NASCAR fans will have the opportunity to gain unprecedented access to one of their racing heroes throughout the entire weekend of the Jeff Byrd 500 presented by Food City at Bristol. The “Stay with J.J.” program in conjunction with Star Coach Race Tours will allow fans to stay with Sprint Cup veteran J.J. Yeley, just steps away from the half-mile bullring. Those who purchased a spot for the program not only get to experience an all-inclusive stay in a luxury motor coach, but they will also receive a garage tour from Yeley as well as the opportunity debrief with him at the end of each day. Furthermore, a portion of the proceeds generated from the program will benefit the Bristol Speedway Children’s Charities.
“There are two principle reasons why I wanted to participate in this program”, explained Yeley. “First is that we get to help out a charity, which is always a good thing. Second, I enjoy spending as much time with the fans as I can. I know they can never get enough information about their sport, no matter how much they go to the track, watch on T.V. and follow all the websites. At the end of the day, it’s about giving fans a chance to do something they normally can’t do. With this program, they will understand a race weekend from my perspective, hang out and a have few meals together and I have to say, there’s always good food with Star Coach.”
Star Coach Race Tours, provider of the “Stay with J.J.” accommodations as well as the top-notch meals referenced by Yeley, is a unique entity itself. Founded in 2009 by Joel Labute, Star Coach provides fans with an all-inclusive race weekend package which includes luxury accommodations in a Class-A RV or luxury motor coach, campsite entertainment such as a DJ system and exterior televisions, along with transportation to and from the airport.
“It was a no-brainer for us to take part in this program,” said Labute. “When we were just getting our company off the ground, Bristol Motor Speedway was one of the first tracks to exhibit interest in forming a long-term relationship with Star Coach. We’re excited to be in a position to give back in the form of supporting their chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities. I also know that J.J. would be a perfect fit for this concept. When we got involved with him last year, we could see how passionate his fans were about him and how good he was with his sponsors. He is exactly the type of driver Star Coach wants to be associated with.”
The Stay with J.J. program is just another step in the comeback process for the 34 year-old driver, who was let go from Joe Gibbs Racing in 2007 and then suffered a serious back and neck injury in a sprint car accident in 2009. The setbacks have only added fuel to the Arizona native’s competitive desire, but they also have helped him approach his career with a whole new attitude. “To me, you can’t ever give up on your dreams and you have to work as hard as possible. Not racing for almost a year and being away from what I love to do, made me really appreciate something that I may have taken for granite at some points.”
That attitude, combined with Yeley’s keen sense of what drives the sport’s popularity, sparked his interest in participating in “Stay with J.J.”; something he agreed to partake in before he even secured a ride for the 2011 season. “Tailgating at a sporting event for an entire weekend is one part of the NASCAR experience that fans love. This program allows them to participate in that atmosphere in a way that they probably have never experienced before. For me, I think spending quality time with fans is something we as drivers can improve on and I want to be one of the guys to fulfill that need.”
While Yeley is working hard on his return to the Sprint Cup Series, Labute is focused on making Star Coach a household among NASCAR fans. For the CPA turned entrepreneur, the concept was based on a simple idea. “I saw a market that was underserved. As a fan, I understood that the best way to experience a race weekend is to be at the track for the entire time and not have to shuttle back and forth from miles away. It’s a lot better to have your wakeup call be the jet dryers going by your motor home, not the alarm clock at the hotel room. I’m also familiar with the financial burden of purchasing your own RV. Star Coach allows fans to essentially rent a motor home at a fraction of the cost it takes to own.”
Beyond the financial advantages, Star Coach also offers added value to its customers. “We are able to allow the fans to stay in prime, usually inaccessible locations, such as the infield at Dover or New Hampshire or along the fence at Talladega” noted Labute. “We are able to do this because of the relationships we have built with the tracks”.
Now Star Coach will add unprecedented access to a Sprint Cup driver to their long list exclusive benefits. Both Labute and Yeley hope that Bristol will be just the first of many “Stay with J.J.” opportunities and the driver could not be more excited. “The fans and I will be hanging out like we’ve been friends forever, talking about races, tracks, cars, and whatever else they want. It will be a memorable time and I am looking forward to it”.
There are still spots remaining for fans who wish to “Stay with J.J.”. Contact Star Coach Race Tours now for more information.
For more on J.J. Yeley:
Driver Sponsor Contact: Bob Chasse, Genuine Partners. Phone: 386.566.8754
For more on Star Coach Race Tours and the Stay with J.J. Program: