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Kelly MarCom Seeks Racing Sponsors

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ATLANTA Nascar driver Kerry Earnhardt has hired Kelly MarCom to find sponsorships and endorsement deals for the 2006 racing season, the shop said.

Earnhardt, the oldest son of the late Nascar legend Dale Earnhardt, will compete in Nascar's Craftsman Truck Series this year, his first season-long contract since he raced in the sport's Busch Series in the 2002-03 campaign.

The independent Sanford, N.C., shop will help Earnhardt find a sponsor for the No. 13 truck, which is owned by the ThorSport Racing team. ThorSport also fields the No. 88 truck driven by Matt Crafton and sponsored by Minard's discount stores.

Earnhardt has an existing relationship with Bass Pro Shops, which sponsored him for several races in Nascar's premiere Nextel Cup Series during the past several years. He continues to make appearances at the company's store openings and events, but the company is not sponsoring him in the Craftsman Truck Series.

Tom Crichton, director of sports and event marketing at Kelly MarCom, said he is using Earnhardt's love of hunting and fishing to market him to companies that produce outdoor sport products, including vendors to Bass Pro Shops.

"He resonates well with the outdoorsman," Crichton said. "It's who he is."

Earnhardt aspires to return to Nextel Cup racing but needs wins in the Craftsman Truck Series and strong sponsors to move up in the sport, Crichton said.

Earnhardt's half brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., already is a leading driver in the Nextel Cup Series.