Gordon's new team gets bourbon backing

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Taking advantage of NASCAR's decision
to allow hard-liquor sponsorship, Robby Gordon said Wednesday that
Jim Beam bourbon will be a backer of his new Nextel Cup team.

Jim Beam will join Fruit of the Loom in sharing primary
sponsorship for the car Gordon will drive this year. Fruit of the
Loom, which backed Gordon's Busch series effort last season, said
Tuesday that it will sponsor Gordon in nine Cup races in 2005. Jim
Beam said it will back Gordon in an undisclosed number of races and
serve as an associate sponsor for additional events.

NASCAR lifted its ban on hard-liquor ads on cars in November,
easing restrictions aimed at cleaning up the image of a sport that
traces its roots to moonshine runners in the hills of Georgia and
the Carolinas.

"We felt the time was right,'' NASCAR president Mike Helton
said when making the announcement last fall. "Attitudes have
changed, and spirits companies have a long record of responsible

NASCAR has allowed beer and malt liquor sponsorships, but had
restricted what liquor companies could do since the sport's modern
era began in 1972. As a condition of the change in policy, NASCAR
will require that liquor companies follow advertising guidelines
set by the sanctioning body.

Jim Beam joins Crown Royal, which will sponsor series champion
Kurt Busch's Roush Racing entry, and Jack Daniel's, which will back
the Richard Childress Racing entry driven by Dave Blaney.