Jim Beam Bourbon is to sponsor a car in this year's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. Jim Beam Brands Co. confirmed yesterday that its flagship brand has teamed up with Robby Gordon Motorsports to sponsor the No. 7 car for the series.

Team owner and veteran driver Robby Gordon will race the No. 7 Jim Beam Chevrolet on 20 February at Daytona International Speedway. Jim Beam will be the primary sponsor for a designated number of races and serve as an associate sponsor for additional races throughout the 2005 season.

Jim Beam became the first distilled spirit to sponsor a major motorsports team when it teamed-up with Andretti Green Racing of the Indy Racing League in 2003. Its entry into NASCAR provides Jim Beam with an opportunity to build on its commitment to the sport.

"Not only is Jim Beam a veteran supporter of motorsports, we also have an established history of promoting social responsibility through this platform," said Keith Neumann, marketing director, Jim Beam Brands US.

"As the world's number one bourbon, we're excited about extending our number one position in motorsports from INDY to NASCAR. Supporting both sports positions Jim Beam as the "The Official Spirit of Racing." We will use this platform to reinforce the company's commitment to social responsibility through the Jim Beam drink smart platform."