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NASCAR LANDS NEW SPONSOR FOR TRUCKS

Camping World will replace Craftsman as the title sponsor for NASCAR's truck series in 2009.

The seven-year deal, thought to be worth between $5-million and $7-million annually, was announced Thursday by NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and Camping World chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis.

Camping World sells, rents and services recreational vehicles, trailers and camping accessories. It has been active in NASCAR for several years and is in its first year as the title sponsor for two of NASCAR's developmental series, East and West.

The company also has sponsored several Sprint Cup races and has sponsorship deals with Kevin Harvick Inc. in NASCAR's Nationwide and trucks series.

Lemonis said the company's sponsorships of the East and West series and KHI's No.33 truck, driven by Ron Hornaday, will continue through 2009.

The series faces a big challenge, as Dodge and Ford announced in the past two months that their financial support of teams would end this season.

"First of all, the series is very healthy," France said.

Still, he noted that the manufacturers involved in NASCAR have been particularly hard hit in the area of truck sales.

"We're obviously affected by that, it's a legitimate issue," France said.

Lemonis said he spent nine months researching and talking with people before making this latest, and biggest, commitment to NASCAR.

"It wasn't a matter of a last-minute decision," he said. "It was something that was fairly plotted out."

Official financial details of the agreement were not announced.

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