Photograph courtesy of Z-Line Designs
At first glance, Z-Line Designs and NASCAR don’t seem like a match: The San Ramon–based company’s sleek furnishings don’t seem marketed toward the good ol’ boy audience typically associated with the oval circuit.
But that didn’t dissuade Blackhawk resident Jim Sexton, founder of Z-Line, from ponying up over $5 million last year to become one of the main sponsors for the well-respected Joe Gibbs’ racing team in NASCAR’s Nationwide Series.
One thing’s for sure: Sexton’s gambit has brought him some serious visibility. This year, a Z-Line–sponsored Toyota—plastered bumper to bumper with his company’s Z-Line logo—has already won four races, most recently when superstar Kyle Busch took the checkered flag at the Kroger 200 in Indiana in July.
“These drivers are some of the biggest names in the world. They’re like rock stars,” Sexton says. “It’s really amazing when you go to a race—you’ll see 250,000 people.”