(September 6, 2001) Cannondale and Nac's Racing have announced that they will co-sponsor an ATV racing team beginning in 2002. By all estimates the team should be a major player, combining the first factory-level sponsorship from an ATV manufacturer with one of the most prestigious names in ATV racing history. The new squad, which will be called the Nac's/Cannondale team, will compete at all GNC and GNCC events in the coming year. For Nac's Racing's Jim Naccarato, a long-time supporter of ATV racing, the multi-year partnership with Cannondale represents a dream come true. "It's absolutely fantastic to see an ATV manufacturer finally support the sport at this level, first by offering truly race-ready machines, and now through team sponsorship," said Naccarato. "It's long overdue. And to have it be an American manufacturer that first steps up to the plate is the icing on the cake for us." Cannondale's founder and president Joe Montgomery echoed Naccarato's enthusiasm. "Nac's has always supported ATV racing with an inspiring combination of passion and professionalism," said Montgomery. "We're very, very fortunate to be teaming up with such a well-respected company." Naccarato has twice visited Cannondale's Bedford, Pennsylvania motorsports factory, where he was impressed with the company's commitment to sport ATVs. "I was totally blown away with Cannondale's engineering and the testing they do at the factory," said Naccarato. "Their passion for high-performance matches our own. I'm very proud to have our name so closely tied with Cannondale's." Nac's/Cannondale team racers will compete aboard Cannondale Moto 440 models in GNC motocross and TT events, with the Cannondale Blaze 440 models seeing action in GNCC races. Additional sponsors for the team are still being finalized, said Naccarato, who added that most of his existing team's co-sponsors are anxious to continue their support. A full list of the team's co-sponsors, and their 2002 roster, will be released at a later date. Cannondale is the world's premier manufacturer of high-tech, high-performance bicycles, and a recent entrant into the motorsports industry. The company's first two ATVs, the FX400 and Cannibal, both feature an innovative, fuel-injected 432cc dual overhead cam engine and a lightweight, twin-spar aluminum frame. The two ATVs have drawn rave reviews from industry magazines that praised the Cannondales' speed, handling, and industry-leading power-to-weight ratio. Based in Saugerties, New York, Nac's Racing is the number-one distributor of top quality, high-performance aftermarket ATV parts. The company sells through more than 300 dealers nationwide, through several international dealers, and from a 50+ page mail-order catalog. Nac's Racing was started in the late 1980s by Darren Naccarato, Jim's son, in the family's garage while Darren was still in high school. The fledgling business grew out of Darren's love of ATVs, which began with a first battery-powered model that he rode as an infant. In 1985, at age 15, Darren entered his first ATV race at Lebanon Valley, New York, where he placed 2nd in the 250 amateur class. Darren continued to work at the business full-time while also competing in local and national-level ATV races. He had several season finishes in the top 10 of the GNC 250 Pro class and 4-Stroke Pro Am, and he won several nationals in the Open Pro Am class. Along the way, Darren made sure that Nac's Racing continued to give back to the sport by sponsoring an in-house pro team and a grass-roots program that assisted more than 200 racers. Darren also worked to ensure that professional ATV racing maintained a high degree of integrity and professionalism, going so far as to urge the AMA to routinely verify fuel and displacement for top racers - including those sponsored by Nac's. Darren was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, and after a courageous battle, the disease ultimately took his life in 1998. Darren's love of ATVs lives on, both in the continued success of the company he started, and in Nac's Racing's ongoing support of ATV racing. "Darren dreamed of growing the popularity of ATV racing," said Jim Naccarato of his son. "He always made sure Nac's Racing went above and beyond in supporting the sport, and he always wanted other companies to join in as well. I know he'd be very pleased to see Cannondale coming on-board."
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