The Driver Suit Blog-Race Rock Revisited

By David G. Firestone

In 2016, I wrote a piece on a Race Rock racing suit. At the time I wrote the article, I thought that Race Rock was a real racing team, and they used this suit for promotion. I had spent a long time trying to find out information on Race Rock, but with no success. So I went with the best information I had at the time.

Not long after I posted the colum, it was pointed out to me that I was completely wrong about what Race Rock was. It wasn’t a racing team, but it was a racing themed restaurant in Las Vegas. After doing some more research, it turned out that I was totally wrong about Race Rock. I was going to redo the article, but as does happen in life, I got busy with other things, and Race Rock got put on the back burner. So I’m going to redo the article, but with the updated information. So here we go:

I’ve talked about the promotional advantages of driver suits and racing suits before. True, a racing sponsorship can pay a lot of dividends. According to this article from Fox, “A new study conducted jointly by the Los Angeles-based media agency Wasserman and Buffalo, New York-based Nervve showed that Denny Hamlin’s Daytona 500 victory was worth $1.9 million in earned media value for his primary sponsor, FedEx.”

But where racing suit design differs than regular work design is that the sponsor or team can design the suit in ways which most normal companies wouldn’t be able to. Denny Hamlin’s suit can be designed for maximum sponsor exposure. While Denny for some reason doesn’t wear TV logos on the sleeves, if any FedEx employee were asked to wear a uniform similar to Denny’s suit or the teams pit shirts, the company would be a laughing stock.

While racing suit design for promotional appeal is a new concept in marketing, mechanics in auto racing have been around since day one. Mechanics make the cars run, and keep them running. They have to work on cars and wear special clothes, as the fluids in the car can ruin most street clothes. The design of auto racing uniforms has influenced fashion many times over the years, and has proven popular.

Race Rock was an auto-racing themed restaurant in Las Vegas, which operated from 1999 to 2001. It was similar to the NASCAR cafe, in that it was filled with auto racing memorabilia. It was meant to work in conjunction with the Neonopolis mall, but the mall didn’t open until 2002, the restaurant was a flop, it closed, and the memorabilia was sold off. The wait staff were issued these jumpsuits to wear as uniforms.

racerock

The front has a CART patch and RACE ROCK RACING TEAM embroidered into the chest,a checkered flag stripe, and a yellow stripe across the chest with a PPG patch and a BILSTEN SHOCK ABSORBERS patch sewn into the yellow stripe.racerock-rchest racerock-lchest racerock-flogoThe belt, and legs are unadorned.racerock-belt racerock-legs

The shoulders have yellow unadorned epaulets, racerock-rshoulder racerock-lshoulderand short sleeves with MOPAR PERFORMANCE RACING TEAM and CHAMPION SPARK PLUG patches on the right sleeve, and VALVOLINE RACING and HOLLEY patches on the left sleeve.racerock-rsleeve racerock-lsleeveThe back of the suit has a giant RACE ROCK RACE TEAM logo embroidered into it. Other than that, there are no designs present at all.racerockb racerock-blogoRace Rock was an interesting experiment that could have worked, but fate was against them.  It was also another in the long line of theme restaurants that were tried in the late 1990’s, and failed.  Race Rock joins The NASCAR cafe, The WCW Nitro Grill, The All-Star Cafe, Mars 2124, WWF New York, ESPN Zone, Michael Jordan’s, and countless other restaurants that tried to lure fans into their doors, but failed.  I can only wonder if the mall across the street succeeded, how long Race Rock would have lasted

Next week, something fun and special.

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