Ten Years Strong For Home Depot
March 5, 2008 | 1:45 P.M. EST
The traditional orange and black colors of primary sponsor Home Depot will remain, but in celebration of the Atlanta-based company's 10-year anniversary as a proud NASCAR sponsor and staunch supporter of Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing, a special paint scheme designed by one of The Home Depot's 350,000 associates will adorn the No. 20 machine.
In a company-wide contest that began on Dec. 17, 2007 and ended on Jan. 18, 2008, Home Depot associates were encouraged to design the car that Stewart would drive March 9 at Atlanta. From a total of 351 entries, the winning design came from the pen of Scott Foreman, a Pro Desk Sales Associate who works at The Home Depot in Brighton, Colo.
"I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen for this contest. It's a dream of a lifetime for me," said the 57-year-old Foreman, who will get to see his winning design in person as a VIP guest of the No. 20 Home Depot Racing Team at Atlanta. "I've been a race fan my entire life. I actually grew up around the local tracks in Denver since both my dad and uncle raced when I was young. I've been a NASCAR fan ever since they began televising races back in the black-and-white TV days. Naturally, I've been drawing race cars since I was a kid, too. So this prize means more to me than you could ever imagine. It really is the dream of a lifetime."
A Pro Desk Sales Associate like Foreman bleeds orange, for they are on the front line of The Home Depot's core customer – general contractors and do-it-yourselfers who view no home improvement project as too large.
"My inspiration for the design of the car came from my knowledge of The Home Depot and what the company stands for, along with my experience of what a race car should look like," Foreman said. "I used the things that I'm familiar with in my everyday work at The Home Depot and the symbols that identify the company so well, namely the orange apron draped across the hood and the 10-Year Service Award since Tony has been driving The Home Depot car for 10 years now."
The Home Depot entered NASCAR with a bang in 1999, as the world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer became the Official Home Improvement Warehouse of NASCAR. Augmenting that platform, The Home Depot also signed to sponsor a newly formed second team of Joe Gibbs Racing with a rookie crew chief and a rookie driver who had made a name for himself in open-wheel race cars but was still a stock car neophyte.
The partnership proved dynamic, as Stewart quickly showed that his four USAC championships and 1997 IRL IndyCar Series title would lead to championships in NASCAR.
With coaching administered by crew chief Greg Zipadelli, Stewart won the 1999 Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award on the heels of three wins and a fourth-place finish in the championship point standings. The wins kept coming in the seasons that followed and so did the championships, as Stewart, Zipadelli and the No. 20 Home Depot Racing Team scored titles in 2002 and 2005.
"When I first came to NASCAR, I just wanted to make it, let alone make it 10 years," said Stewart, whose 10-year tenure with Zipadelli forms the longest active driver/crew chief relationship in NASCAR. "It makes me very, very proud of both my relationship with everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and at The Home Depot. They've been a great company to work for, and hopefully, we go another 10 years. We've been through a lot of highs and a lot of lows, but at the end of the day, we've had a lot of fun and we've won a lot of races and won two championships. I think we’ve had a very successful first 10 years."
"The Home Depot is very proud of its association with NASCAR, Tony Stewart, Greg Zipadelli and Joe Gibbs Racing," said, John Ross, vice president, advertising for The Home Depot. "Our entry into NASCAR was driven by our associates, and at 350,000 strong, they have a very loud voice. Our relationship with Tony, Greg and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing is a great source of pride for every Home Depot associate. Everyday at our 2,243 retail stores and each weekend at the race track, that pride is on display."
Echoing that pride is Foreman, who along with his colleagues at Home Depot store No. 1547, are eagerly awaiting Sunday's race at Atlanta.
"I can honestly say this is one of the proudest moments of my life, and the entire Home Depot team at the store where I work here in Brighton shares in that pride," Foreman said. "We're one of the smaller Home Depot stores in the Denver metro area, but big in heart and it shows in everything we do."