Contender boat to be offered as prize at NASCAR race

Speedway and Homestead-based Contender Boats partner to deliver a unique trophy to Ford 400 winner

MIAMI - On Sunday, Nov. 20, the winner of the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway will take home a very unique prize: a 25-foot Tournament Model Contender fishing boat with a four stroke 300 horsepower Yamaha outboard, trailer and several customized factory options all valued at more than $115,000. Starting this fall and for the next three years, Homestead-Miami Speedway and Contender Boats have joined forces to "up the ante" for the winner of the Ford 400 starting this fall.

"Offshore fishermen have known about the incredible reputation of Contender boats for many years, and we are especially proud to welcome them - a South Florida company - to our family of sponsors," said Track President Matt Becherer. "Fishing and boating is synonymous with South Florida, and we are incredibly proud to offer the winner of the Ford 400 a piece of South Florida and something that they can enjoy while commemorating their win for years to come. While the Chase-eligible drivers will be in contention for NASCAR's biggest prize, the Sprint Cup Series Championship, all 43 drivers will be in the hunt for the Contender 25 Tournament boat."

In just under 30 years, Contender has redefined sport fishing boat construction. Contender produces high quality outboard powered offshore performance cruising, luxury, and fishing vessels. The boat maker's popularity among die-hard fisherman is a testament to Contender's reputation and legendary performance.

"We at Contender Boats are extremely excited to be a part of this iconic motorsports event. Just like the racers that will be fighting for the opportunity to win one of our 25' vessels, we too possess an obsession for performance and victory," said Les Stewart Jr., Director of Marketing for Contender Boats. "Contender was built around tournament fishing, and grew from earning the reputation of building tournament winners. It takes more than just luck to win a fishing tournament, just as it takes more than luck to win a race. It takes skill, passion, and determination with the help of a high performance machine. It is this connection that has brought Contender Boats to Homestead Miami Speedway, in the hopes of creating a tradition that really blows everything else, well... out of the water."

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Carl Edwards returns to South Florida as the defending Ford 400 race winner. This fall, Edwards and his Roush Fenway Racing teammates will look to add another victory to their impressive record at Homestead-Miami Speedway. As a member of Roush Fenway Racing, Edwards and his teammates have won seven of the 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races contested at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"I wonder if they're going to be giving these out retroactively -- I'd have a couple of them," said Edwards. "Even if they're not, it's a pretty cool deal.

"I would love to own a Contender Boat, and this would be a heck of a way to get one. This is definitely going to end up being one of the most unique and coveted trophies in our sport. It's great that Homestead-Miami Speedway is putting that much emphasis on Ford Championship Weekend and the winner of the Ford 400."

With an already solid reputation for building the most rugged, durable and safe offshore fishing vessels in the industry, Contender is excited about its partnership with Homestead-Miami Speedway in adding to the spoils awaiting the winner of the Ford 400.

"Winning a fishing boat at Homestead-Miami Speedway will undoubtedly be one of the most unique Gatorade Victory Lane celebrations of the season," said Becherer. "The Ford 400 is the only race on the schedule where you potentially could have two Champions crowned. The race winner and the Sprint Cup Champion both will have reason to celebrate. We've never had the same driver win the race and the Championship. That could change this year."