Kurt Dove, who's returning to the Bassmaster Elite Series this year after a 4-year absence, distributed a notice to the fishing media today about an impending NASCAR-affiliated sponsorship to be revealed next week. He and Paul Pagnato, a former Elite Series co-angler who's spent the past several years competing in the Bassmaster Opens, have formed the PK Fishing Team.
“We are very excited about this announcement and partnership with a major brand and
NASCAR team, not only in the United States, but globally,” Pagnato said. “We have a great relationship with our major sponsor and look forward to continuing it for many years to come.”
No other details were released, but a couple Internet searches revealed a potential connection to BK Racing, which counts fast-food chain Burger King and soft drink Dr. Pepper among its main sponsors and will field three teams in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The BK Racing driver roster includes Travis Kvapil and David Reutimann.
The website www.rodneylyman.com features photos of Dove and Pagnato holding up fish and provides a link to a site for the BK Fishing Team, which is still under construction. Facebook pages for both the PK Fishing Team and BK Fishing Team were created on Dec. 18, 2012, but currently have no content on them. A Twitter account was also launched bearing the @BKFishingTeam name and Dove is presently the account's lone follower. Also shown on the page is a link to www.bkracing.com. In addition, both Pagnato and Dove are both followers of BK Racing's Twitter page.
Pagnato's name might not be familiar to most BassFans, but he's a bigwig in the financial sector. He's the founder of the Washington, D.C.-based Pagnato-Karp Group, which, according to its website, "specializes in meeting the unique needs of the nation's wealthiest individuals and their families."
Another possible link to the NASCAR realm is the D.C. connection (Dove, by the way, formerly resided in nearby Virginia before relocating to Texas to become a full-time guide at Lake Amistad). Former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs now operates Joe Gibbs Racing, which fields several teams at NASCAR's highest level (Sprint Cup). The JGR driver roster includes Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Truex, and the list of sponsors includes Interstate Batteries, small-box discount retailer Dollar General, FedEx, Home Depot and Toyota.
One more clue: The contact person listed on Dove's release is A.J. Hawrylak, who's in charge of marketing for Pagnato-Karp. A Google search revealed that Hawrylak, like Gibbs, was once employed by the Redskins.
Reached by phone, Hawrylak declined further comment at this time. The official announcement is set for next Tuesday.