Holiday Central

NASCAR Takes Manhattan – Again


NASCAR ain’t just whistling Dixie: It’s alive and kicking all over America.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell proved it in Times Square, where he spoke to some of the racing association’s biggest names. Top drivers toured New York City streets for the fourth straight year, garnering applause while reconfirming the auto sport’s rising popularity beyond its Southern roots.

Power driver Mark Martin lauded NASCAR’s newfound “acceptance” in the Northeast – as well as by “corporate America.”  The organization is attracting more than the expected sponsorships by oil and engine-part purveyors. The Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio have all won  broadcast rights, while financial titan Bank of America recently inked a 5-year deal as the official bank of the racing group.

And Jeff Gordon – also a celebrity poker-player – weighed in on the pleasures and pitfalls of choosing sponsors, telling “Morning Call” of a growing list including PepsiCo , Kraft Foods and Pfizer’s Viagra.

Watch Darren Rovell talk NASCAR in New York: