Office Depot Announces Finalists in ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot’ Sweepstakes

By Auto News Log • September 1st, 2011

NASCAR Stars Tony Stewart And Greg Biffle Help Two Small Business Finalists Compete For The ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot’ Title And Chance To Win $1 Million This Weekend

The two small business finalists are Kacie Howard, owner of HuckleBerry Pets, in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Sara Mortensen, owner of Bales Mold Service, Inc., in Downers Grove, Ill. As part of the finalists prize package, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet Impala and team owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, and Greg Biffle, driver of the No. 16 3M Ford will each feature one finalist’s logo on their respective race cars during this weekend’s nationally televised NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(tm), AdvoCare 500 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Sunday, Sept. 4, 7:30 p.m. EDT, ESPN). Howard was randomly paired with Stewart, while Mortensen was matched with Biffle.

The small business featured on the highest-finishing driver’s car at the end of Sunday’s race will be named the 2011 “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” and receive the use of the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” logo for one year. Additionally, if Stewart or Biffle win the race, the small business featured on the winning car will walk away with $1 million. As finalists, both Howard and Mortensen receive a $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot and a VIP experience this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

“I’m excited to reward small business owners for the hard work and dedication they put into taking care of business every day,” said Stewart, who is a successful entrepreneur with 13 small businesses of his own. “Greg (Biffle), his 3M team and I are proud to have the finalists represented on our cars this weekend, especially knowing that we can deliver a $1 million prize for one lucky small business owner with a win. It’s going to be a fight to the finish!”

Stewart is the defending winner of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(tm) race on Labor Day Weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway and has three career wins while competing in NASCAR’s top series at the 1.54-mile track. Biffle is still searching for his first win at Atlanta, but has notched three top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(tm) starts there.

“Office Depot and 3M have come together and given small business owners an amazing opportunity with the ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot’ sweepstakes,” Biffle said. “As a small business owner myself, I have a real appreciation for what it takes to build a successful small business, and it means a lot to me to be involved in this promotion. I’m looking forward to getting to know the two finalists this weekend and doing everything I can to get to Victory Lane.”

Meet The Finalists: Kacie Howard, Owner of HuckleBerry Pets –

Kacie Howard, an avid NASCAR(r) fan whose nine-year-old daughter was born on the day of the 2002 Daytona 500, started HuckleBerry Pets in July 2010 with her husband, Chris. The business specializes in manufacturing comfortable, stylish and durable pet beds using orthopedic mattresses that help support a pet’s muscles and bone structure.

Howard learned about the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes online at After entering, Howard worked to obtain additional entries by asking friends and family to nominate her business. She plans to use the $10,000 Office Depot makeover to help HuckleBerry Pet’s expand its manufacturing offices in Daytona Beach, Fla., with new computers and office furniture

“I’m extremely grateful to be named one of this year’s ‘Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot’ finalists,” Howard said. “This is such a great opportunity and provides a fresh new incentive for my business. With the way the current economy is in relation to small businesses, there are many people who have been talking doom and gloom, so it’s nice to have something positive happen.”

Meet The Finalists: Sara Mortensen Owner of Bales Mold Service, Inc –

Sara Mortensen’s father, Steve Bales, and uncle, Mike Bales, founded Bales Mold Service, Inc, in 1978. Bales Mold Service, Inc represents the cutting edge of engineered coatings and finishes, and continues to be at the forefront of developing technology to service varied industries. In November 2009, Mortensen’s father passed away and the company was handed down to her and her sister, Stacey Bales. Knowing that their father was a racing fan, Mortensen dug out his old NASCAR(r) hat and put it on her desk for good luck after entering this year’s “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes.

Mortensen found out about this year’s sweepstakes while shopping online at She utilized her company’s Facebook and Twitter pages to campaign for additional entries and also worked with her colleagues, vendors, family and friends to increase the amount of nominations she received. Mortensen’s receptionist, Cheryl Kennedy, also played a major role in helping her get the word out about nominating Bales Mold Service, Inc. Mortensen chose to bring Kennedy to Atlanta Motor Speedway to share in her VIP race weekend experience as a thank you for the hard work and encouragement she provided throughout the entry period.

“I still can’t believe I won this sweepstakes…it’s just really neat,” Mortensen said.” This is probably one of the coolest things to ever happen to me. I’m very thankful that Office Depot and 3M are giving small business owners like me a chance to be a part of such a great promotion. I can’t wait to take advantage of the exciting opportunities that go along with being one of the finalists. The $10,000 Office Depot makeover will be the first major step in helping me to expand my business.”

Prize Package Overview

The “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes finalist prize package includes the following:

– A $10,000 small business makeover from Office Depot (if applicable, the $1 million payout would negate the $10,000 small business makeover)

– VIP race experience for two at the September 2-4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series(tm) race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway

– Use of the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” logo for one year, including on company stationery materials (to be printed by the Copy & Print Depot at Office Depot).

Outside of the two finalists, Office Depot allowed even more small business owners to win big this year during the “Official Small Business of NASCAR, Courtesy of Office Depot” sweepstakes. Every day during the promotion window, which ran from May 1 through May 28, one lucky small business owner was randomly selected to receive a $1,000 Office Depot gift card and Officially Licensed NASCAR(r) memorabilia just for entering the sweepstakes.

About Office Depot

Celebrating 25 years as a leading global provider of office supplies and services, Office Depot is Taking Care of Business for millions of customers around the globe. For the local corner store as well as Fortune 500 companies, Office Depot provides supplies and services to its customers through 1,627 worldwide retail stores, a dedicated sales force, top-rated catalogs and global e-commerce operations. Office Depot has annual sales of approximately $11.6 billion, and employs about 40,000 associates around the world. The Company provides more office supplies and services to more customers in more countries than any other company, and currently sells to customers directly or through affiliates in 56 countries.

Office Depot’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: and

About 3M
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Our culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better. 3M is the innovation company that never stops inventing. With $27 billion in sales, 3M employs about 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. For more information, or follow @3MNews on Twitter.

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, Inc. (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for one of North America’s premier sports. NASCAR races are broadcast in more than 150 countries and in 20 languages. In the U.S., races are broadcast on FOX, TNT, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, SPEED and SiriusXM Satellite Radio. NASCAR fans are among the most brand loyal in all of sports, and as a result more Fortune 100 companies participate in NASCAR than any other sport. NASCAR consists of three national series (the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series), four regional series, and one local grassroots series, as well as two international series. Also part of NASCAR is Grand-Am Road Racing, known for its competition on road courses with multiple classes of cars. NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races at 100 tracks in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. Based in Daytona Beach, Fla., NASCAR has offices in eight cities across North America. The next NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, the AdvoCare 500 will air on Sept. 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. For more information and a complete schedule, visit Follow NASCAR on or on Twitter: @NASCAR.

Photo Credit: Action Sports Photography

Source: MATTER, Edelman Sports & Entertainment Marketing


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