Since becoming the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series ahead of the 2015 season, Comcast has not only talked the talk but has continued to walk the walk.
That year, it picked up the Dash 4 Cash, a series of four races with a monetary bonus going to the highest finisher of the four qualifying drivers. At the time, should a driver be the highest finishing Dash 4 Cash driver in all four races and win the final event, there would be a hefty $1 million prize waiting for them come the checkered flag.
It was a near impossible achievement for any driver.
Over the past handful of years, Xfinity shifted its focus by not only allotting a $100,000 bonus for the highest finisher in each of the four Dash 4 Cash races, but also giving back to the community. That’s something that the company sees as its duty.
“When talking about digital divide, we understand the power of the internet, this necessity of access of reliable, high-speed internet,” Matt Lederer, Comcast’s VP of Brand Partnerships, said. “Think about right now, you’re not doing your job without that. Think about the veteran returning; how are they going to find out their benefit situation or apply for their next job with it?
“The need for reliable, fast, high-speed internet is crucial to the new digital world. We have a responsibility in that area.”
Beginning last year, Comcast unveiled its Project UP initiative, which is the company’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of Unlimited Possibilities. By 2030, Comcast believes the demand for workers with basic digital skills will increase by 69%. Over the next 10 years, the company will commit $1 billion to help close the digital divide, reaching 50 million people over more than 1,000 communities.
Included in the Project UP umbrella are the implementations of lift zones and Comcast RISE, where Comcast is supporting minority small businesses.
“Everything we do is about that idea of letting people know that you have unlimited possibilities, especially if you think about it from a perspective of a company that sits in the middle of entertainment, media and technology,” Lederer said. “We have a distinct role to play in that.”
For the 2022 Dash 4 Cash races, Comcast partnered with The Y of Greater Richmond (in Chester), the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Blue Ridge (Martinsville) and Green Beret Project (Dover). In the partnership, Xfinity provided unbeatable Internet, technology, and resources to the communities and people in need.
“For them to do that for our community and for those that might not be able to afford it and go to a community center to get access to the internet is terrific,” Mike Tatoian, 2019 Comcast Community Champion and Dover Motor Speedway track president, said. “It’s something that we take for granted that we shouldn’t, and Comcast has helped those in our community that really need that outlet. We’re very appreciative of it.”
Each year that Xfinity has hosted the Dash 4 Cash races, Dover has been among the four on the schedule. Given the track’s proximity to Comcast’s headquarters in Philadelphia, it makes logistical sense.
Having a race within the Xfinity race brings an added element to Dover, which is something Tatoian is appreciative of. The two sides have had a good partnership for close to a decade.
“There’s some equity in when the Xfinity Series comes to Dover,” Tatoian added. “There’s some gravitas to it. Not that it’s not an important race at any time of the year, but the fact that there’s an added incentive.
“I’ve always said that Comcast and Xfinity are the epitome of a corporate partner, and that’s one company that really does understand our business and help out business. They know our market better than anybody does, so the things they give us access to or ideas from a marketing perspective are valuable to us. Not only do we get a benefit of being in the cube consistently for Dash 4 Cash, but also the benefit of rowing in the same direction with them.
“We’ve enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Comcast on and off the track. We’re proud of that association.”
This weekend at Dover, Comcast will give back to its own employees, hosting 50 people at the track and providing a VIP experience. Kevin Harvick and AJ Allmendinger — who has been the victor for two of the D4C bonuses so far in 2022 — have scheduled appearances to meet with the Comcast employees. And prior to Saturday’s (April 30) Xfinity Series race, 3,000 t-shirts will be given out to fans that attend the race.
“Winning the Dash 4 Cash prize is a huge deal,” Allmendinger said. “It’s great that Xfinity and Comcast allow us to go out there and race for $400,000 while also raising money for their initiatives, like Project UP. Being able to win two of the four and having a chance at a third is big for everybody at Kaulig Racing and is the best way to thank all the men and women for their hard work. Hopefully, we can win one more and finish that part of the season out strong.”
About the author
Dustin joined the Frontstretch team at the beginning of the 2016 season. 2020 marks his sixth full-time season covering the sport that he grew up loving. His dream was to one day be a NASCAR journalist, thus why he attended Ithaca College (Class of 2018) to earn a journalism degree. Since the ripe age of four, he knew he wanted to be a storyteller.
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