Johnson secures sponsor for V8 season - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Johnson secures sponsor for V8 season

By Daniel Pace 06/02/2007 06:57:22 PM Comments (0)

V8 Supercar legend Dick Johnson is finally sleeping well after securing Jim Beam as the major sponsor for his racing team.

Johnson was only weeks away from quitting the sport late last year after his Dick Johnson Racing team was left without a major backer for the 2007 season.

But he received a shot of life with the bourbon baron Jim Beam signing a three-year multi-million dollar deal as naming right's sponsor of DJR.

Johnson unveiled his new DJR Falcon at a Gold Coast nightclub, the former five-times series champion revealing just how much his racing team's uncertain future had weighed on his mind.

"I've never in my life had a problem sleeping until recently," said Johnson, who now won't be needing the sponsor's product to help him sleep.

"In the middle of the night you've got plenty of time to think.

"I'm a huge pessimist, always have been. I take every opportunity and try to make the most of it.

"I've been through a lot of ups and downs my entire life and this is just one of them.

"When you're down and out, if you really dig deep you end up finding something.

"You learn about people and about what you need yourself to handle situations like that to make sure you never get back in it again."

Johnson said it was now up to DJR to deliver on its promises for the 2007 V8 Supercar series, which starts in Adelaide next month.

Johnson said his drivers, son Steve and Will Davison, would be aiming for a top five finish this season.

Steve finished 2006 in ninth position while Davison showed plenty of promise in unluckily finishing 19th.

"It's been a tough 18 months or more and to have something like this (new sponsorship deal) come along was a real god-send," Johnson said.

"We just have to make sure we step up to the mark and fulfil all the promises we've made."

It is believed rival Jack Daniels is furious after paying up to three times more than Jim Beam for their sponsorship deal of Larry Perkins' Holden squad.

Jim Beam brand manager Ray Noble said consumer research showed the V8 Supercar series was booming.

"I read some Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing it has become the third most attended sport in Australia behind AFL and horse racing and it's on a par with rugby league," he said.

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