Watkins Glen International is still without a title sponsor for their NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event with less than two weeks until race team haulers start rolling in to the facility.
Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips had been the presenting sponsor of the track's Cup Series race since 2009 but pulled out of their contract earlier this year.
It's a situation that WGI president and West Seneca native, Michael Printup, has now come to accept with his attention turning to making final preparations for the tens of thousands of race fans that will descend on the road racing facility located in the Finger Lakes.
Printup was on WGR's Fast Track on Sunday morning and discussed how hard the search to find a replacement was.
"You're always chasing and we chased all year with Heluva Good! walking away," Printup said, "we did have somebody really close but we decided not to pull the trigger, we just couldn't activate it enough."
The new race name will highlight the part of New York state that "The Glen" calls home.
"We're going with the Finger Lakes 355 because that's the kilometer count, we're going to hype the tourism in this area and give some branding and naming," Printup said.
While the lack of a sponsor won't affect any of the on-track action it does put a dent in the budget for WGI and their parent company International Speedway Corporation (ISC).
"It's big, an entitlement sponsor for NASCAR is anywhere from $500,000 to 2 million dollars per race," Printup said, "as we got closer we'd never get 2 million but we're pretty comfortable in saying we would have landed somewhere between a half a million and a million dollars."
This setback for WGI won't affect future Sprint Cup dates at the facility but it does push back a major capital improvement project that was planned for next year. Printup divulged that the plan was to repave the racing surface before the 2013 Sprint Cup race at WGI but that has now been tabled.
"We decided as a management team this week that we're not going to repave next year, we're probably going to put it off to 2014 or 2015 we feel we have enough life in the asphalt," Printup said.
ISC has made several upgrades at the facility over the last few years including putting in new grandstands and making several safety improvements to the race course.
Now the plan for next year will be to fill the time that was originally blocked out for the repaving project with new racing events.