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#pounditSunday, May 26, 2024

Chase Elliott breaks Hooters sponsorship curse

Chase Elliott in his Hooters track suit

Chase Elliott killed two cursed birds with one stone on Sunday by winning the AutoTrader EchoPark 400 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.

With Elliott’s victory, the Hendrick Motorsports driver finally snapped his 42-race winless streak in the NASCAR Cup Series that dated back to 2022.

The 28-year-old also ended the longstanding Hooters sponsorship curse that had lasted over three decades. No driver racing with Hooters as its main sponsor had won since Alan Kulwicki back in 1992.

Kulwicki along with two Hooters executives died in a plane crash on April 1, 1993. The restaurant chain has sponsored a few other drivers since Kulwicki’s death, but none had won a race until Elliott did on Sunday.

The history was not lost on Elliott. During a post-race interview, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series winner called it a “dream of mine” to pay homage to Kulwicki with a win.

“Hooters has been a partner of ours for a number of years now,” said Elliott. “And it’s been a dream of mine to pay respect to the late Alan Kulwicki and drive in this car to a victory.”

Hooters has backed Elliott as a primary sponsor for eight years running. The company initially signed a two-race primary sponsorship deal with Elliott back in 2017. Hooters has been a three-race primary sponsor for Elliott’s team since 2019.

Elliot’s win was just the fourth time ever a NASCAR driver has won with Hooters as their primary sponsor. Kulwicki was responsible for the first three, which were all in the span of 301 days.

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