NASCAR fans have waited a long time to see Dale Jarrett "race the truck." Now, there really is a UPS race truck.
To prepare Atlanta-based UPS's 2006 TV commercials for the popular "Race the Truck" campaign, the company ignored animation possibilities and instead built a real racing truck, starting with a 20-year-old, 250,000-mile workhorse UPS package car.
A team of highly qualified fabrication specialists transformed the old truck, dropping in a 514-cubic-inch factory Ford SVO crate motor that generates 620 horsepower and 700 pounds of torque. The engine, in turn, was fitted with a two-stage nitrous oxide injection system that boosts its output to 800 horsepower, allowing for low gear burn-outs and an estimated top speed of nearly 150 mph on the track.
During NBC's Daytona 500 broadcast on Sunday, Feb. 19, viewers will get their first glimpse of the modified UPS package car in two new spots. What began as a way for UPS to create awareness for its NASCAR sponsorship has since grown in popularity as fans everywhere are ready for Jarrett to race the truck. But as with any good race car, there's testing required to get driver, pit crew and race truck ready.
Jarrett, driver of the #88 UPS Ford Fusion for Robert Yates Racing, puts custom-made Goodyear tires to the test as he maneuvers the UPS race truck in the first of the new commercials, "Brakes." As Jarrett completes a lap and attempts to stop, team members discuss whether he has enough braking power to offset the momentum behind a four-ton vehicle. Jarrett begins fishtailing as he brings his speedy UPS vehicle to a halt, convincing the team of the need for adjustments.
"Draft" illustrates the force behind the UPS race truck by showing its effects on a father and his young son as they watch a NASCAR practice trackside. One car passes and blows their shirts; another passes and nearly causes the dad to lose his hat. When the brown truck passes, the boy is elevated horizontally as he holds onto his father's hand to avoid being blown away. Subsequent commercials titled "Burnout," "Lug Nuts" and "Sponsor" will debut throughout the 2006 NASCAR season.
"This is the year when we seriously prepare the UPS truck for racing conditions," said Patrick Guilbert, UPS vice president of sponsorships and events. "Just as we've expanded our capabilities to provide delivery and logistics services through our NASCAR sponsorship, we're going to demonstrate our ability to transform the UPS package car for peak performance."
UPS is the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services. Each day, the UPS pit crew of more than 407,000 dedicated employees delivers to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
UPS enters its sixth year as primary sponsor of the #88 Ford Fusion driven by Dale Jarrett for Robert Yates Racing and continues as the official delivery company of NASCAR. Building on the sport's popularity and fan loyalty, UPS provides updated information about UPS Racing, Dale Jarrett and the #88 team at www.racing.ups.com.