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Best Buy's Switch To Carl Edwards Paying Dividends

Yesterday, Roush Fenway claimed both front row starting positions in Sunday’s Daytona 500 Pole Day at Daytona International Speedway. Edwards covered the 2.5-mile oval at the World Center of Racing in 46.216 seconds (194.738 mph) to set the pace for the field, just edging teammate Greg Biffle (46.371) for the pole. The RFR duo will start one-two in next Sunday’s “Great American Race,” the most high-profiled race in the Sprint Cup Series.

As a result, Best Buy should get a tremendous amount of exposure from its move to RFR. According to Joyce Julius, last year’s Daytona 500 winner, Trevor Bayne, had sponsor mentions equaling $1.4 million of exposure value, with Ford (2/$353,335), Motorcraft (3/$530,000), Nationwide (1/$176,665)and Sprint (2/$353,335) all benefiting from Bayne’s unlikely victory.

It is of course far from certain that Edwards or Kenseth will win this year’s Daytona 500. But last season Edwards lost in a tie-breaker to Tony Stewart to capture the Chase, so he will probably be in the hunt all season again and provide Best Buy with lots of exposure. And the fact that RFR has two top-notch, well-funded drivers in the top two spots should mean lots of exposure for Best Buy this coming weekend and probably for the entire season as well.

Mike Ozanian, Forbes Staff