And while Lemonis shouted the command “Gentlemen, Start Your Engines,” amidst sophomore female competitor Danica Patrick among one of the 43 entries, many forgave his likely unpremeditated error on the heels of a somewhat surprise and untimely announcement he made Sunday morning.
During the SiriusXM NASCAR radio pre-race show with Claire B. Lang, Lemonis told Lang that Camping World would renew its contract with NASCAR to remain the title entity of the Camping World Truck Series for eight more years. The current seven-year contract was set to expire after the 2015 season.
Despite Lemonis’s comments on Sunday, NASCAR issued a statement reiterating no deal has been signed, yet.
“We are interested in extending our agreement with Camping World and we know the company is as well,” NASCAR said in a statement. “While we don’t have a signed agreement yet, we are very pleased with the direction in which our discussions are headed.”
Before Sunday, Lemonis said last year, he wanted to see how Fox Sports 1, the rebranded network from what was known as SPEED transitioned and how the series fit in. Under the FS1 banner, the network has gained additional viewership, but also carries more overall sports and additional related content.
In the NCWTS first Daytona race under Fox Sports 1, the ratings were up 11 percent compared to SPEED in February 2013.
Camping World replaced Craftsman, who departed the series in 2008. Sears Holdings Corporation’ Craftsman had then been the title sponsor since 1995, the year NASCAR founded the series.
The announcement regarding the renewal is expected within the next month.
Meanwhile, NASCAR is still searching for a sponsor for its secondary series, which current backer Nationwide Insurance will vacant its role to adhere to other NASCAR-industry sponsorship(s) next year.
Follow Chris Knight on Twitter @Knighter01.