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Friday April 29

Allstate Becomes Title Sponsor for NASCAR Brickyard 400

Indianapolis Motor Speedway has announced that the NASCAR Brickyard 400 race in August will be renamed the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The race had been called the Brickyard 400 since its inception in 1994.

"When you think about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, you're talking about the Mecca of racing in the world," said Joe Tripodi, Allstate's chief marketing officer. "So this is extremely prestigious for Allstate to put its name on."

Speedway president Joie Chitwood would not give specific details about the multiyear deal with Allstate, but called the insurance company's investment "significant," and said it took about a month to work out the deal.

"The fact that we had an immediate comfort level with the company helped expedite the process," Chitwood explained.

But he said the track's biggest prize -- the Indianapolis 500 -- would not be getting a name change anytime soon.

"The Indy 500 has had a great name since 1911," he said. "I think there is no reason I would want to change that."

NASCAR also announced that Allstate would become its first official insurance sponsor. This is the first time Allstate has tried to market its name through auto racing, although the company has had previous associations with college sports. Tripodi said the deal with NASCAR was reached about six weeks ago.

The sponsorship is not an unprecedented move by speedway officials. The U.S. Grand Prix, the Formula One race in Indianapolis, previously was backed by SAP, an international computer software company.

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