EMERALD ISLE, NC — Just one day after kicking off the 2015 Countdown to the Championship with a convincing victory at the NHRA Carolina Nationals, reigning Pro Stock world champion and points leader Erica Enders and her Elite Motorsports race team have announced a major associate sponsorship deal with Transportation Impact.
The privately-held logistics company specializes in helping some of the largest companies in the world drastically reduce their shipping costs. Transportation Impact, an Inc. 5000 company based in North Carolina, was founded in 2008 by Keith Byrd and Travis Burt and has quickly earned a reputation as one of the top small-package negotiation and parcel-auditing firms in the shipping industry.
“We are excited to team up with Erica and the Elite Motorsports team,” Transportation Impact Co-Founder Travis Burt said. “Both our team and theirs have a championship mentality. We both work hard each day to be better than we were yesterday, and we at Transportation Impact have little doubt that this partnership will help both sides reach new heights.”
Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman, who spearheaded Enders’ ascension to becoming the first female champion in Pro Stock history, is thrilled to sign a long-term deal with Transportation Impact that he believes will help his team achieve its future objectives.
“I’m humbled and grateful that everyone at Transportation Impact thought enough of what we’re doing to come on board and give us some tremendous support,” Freeman said. “Since Erica joined us a year and a half ago, we’ve won the championship, we’ve won 13 national events, including the last three in a row, been No. 1 qualifier 11 times, and put up an 89-28 race day record. That’s better than anyone in the sport and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished.
“At the same time, we feel like we want to do so much more, and having companies like Transportation Impact lend support will help us reach all of our long-range goals. We are firing this deal up right now so they can ride with us to what we hope will be a successful championship defense.”
Enders admits she’s riding high at the moment, and having a new sponsor recognize the team’s potential adds a lot to her current situation, on many levels.
“It’s been an incredible month and having Transportation Impact come on board today just makes it that much better,” she said. “We scored a really big win in Brainerd (Minn.), and that kind of set up this run we’re on. Then we get to Indy, the biggest race in our sport, and we get another win that ties me with my No. 1 idol, Shirley Muldowney, with 18 career wins. Now we come to North Carolina and get another win to kick off the playoffs and sign an incredible new marketing partner. I need to pinch myself.
“I’m so blessed to be driving this car and to have such an awesome group of people behind me making it happen, and that now includes everyone at Transportation Impact. We spent some time at their facility, and I told everyone we met we’re going to do everything we can to get them a championship this year.”
Standing, from left, are Berkley Stafford, Vice President of Sales; John Howard, Vice President of Operations; Travis Burt, Principal Partner/Co-Founder; Doug Starcke, Managing Partner; and Pete Merkel, Inertia Sports Marketing. Seated, from left, are Keith Byrd, Principal Partner/Co-Founder; Richard Freeman, Owner, Elite Motorsports; Erica Enders; and Harper Lee, Corporate Sales.