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Patty Moise

Sponsorship Ups And Downs

NASCAR racing is a fickle business in which finding and retaining sponsorship is the key to success. When Moise failed to make enough good starts in 1990, the following year she returned to part-time racing. From 1991 to 1993 she lined up for a total of only twenty races. In 1994 both Moise and Sawyers secured sponsorship on the Busch Grand National level, a step below the Winston Cup. During the year they often raced against one another, drawing attention from the press. "I think it's great for us to be able to work together," Moise admitted to a NASCAR representative. "As for racing on the track with Elton, this sport takes such a high level of concentration that you really don't have time to think of other drivers, including my husband. But deep down inside I can tell you that passing Elton for a win would make for some interesting conversations during the ride home from the race." In 1995 Moise completed the best finish by a woman to date, running seventh at Talladega.

In 1996 Sawyer made it briefly into the Winston Cup circuit, driving the David Blair Motorsports Ford, and Moise was racing in the Busch Grand National with a Dial-Purex Ford that she and Sawyer had purchased together. On the racing circuit the pressure to perform, to provide value to sponsors' funding venture, is constant. "You can't compete at this level without the sponsors," Moise told USA Today. "And once you get a sponsor, you are an advertising mechanism—you are working for someone else, and you feel the pressure to do well." Again losing sponsoring after the 1996 season, Moise only started one race in 1997, working with limited sponsorship from Pure Silk, whose parent company also sponsored Sawyer under its Barbasol label. On May 31, 1997, Moise completed five laps at Busch Grand National Series race at Dover Downs International Speedway in Dover, Delaware, before crashing and subsequently finished last. She tried but failed to make the field for the Watkins Glen road race.


1961 Born in Jacksonville, Florida
1981 Begins racing road races
1986 Begins racing on lapped tracks
1990 Marries fellow racer Elton Sawyer; drives fulltime for the season
1991-93 Makes just twenty starts
1994 Races fulltime on the Busch Grand National circuit
1996 Drives Ford, which she co-owns with Sawyer
1997 Makes just one start
1998 Races fulltime for Michael and Buffy Waltrip, sponsored by Rhodes Furniture
1999 Loses sponsorship; retires

Moise's future brightened at the end of her dismal 1997 season when she secured a commitment to drive for Michael Waltrip and his wife Buffy. Her car was sponsored by Rhodes Furniture, with associate sponsorships coming from the companies that provide Rhodes' product lines, including Simmons, Kroehler Company, Berkline, La-Z-Boy, Kincaid Furniture, and Sealy. Moise sold herself to Rhodes by pointing out that forty percent of racing fans are women, who in turn make most household decisions. "We all felt that giving a woman the opportunity to compete on a level playing field with adequate funding to support a first-rate team was the right thing to do," George A. Buck, executive vice president of Rhodes told the Associated Press. "Of course," he added, "we also believe it would be good for business."

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsAuto RacingPatty Moise Biography - Woman Driver, Sponsorship Ups And Downs, Chronology, Retires, Awards And Accomplishments, Further Information