With new Cup name and logo, it’s time to go to work

Now the real work begins.

Late Monday afternoon, NASCAR rolled out a new logo and announced that going forward its top level of competition will be known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

And while that name might not initially roll easily off the tongue, it conveys the key parts: Monster Energy is the title sponsor and it’s still the Cup Series. I’m good with that.

Actually, I’m better than good with that.

I’m really, really happy that from a continuity standpoint, both NASCAR and Monster agreed to keep the word “Cup” in the series name. For history and tradition reasons, dropping Cup would have been a huge mistake.

The name works just fine, but there’s an awful lot of work to come.

Eight-and-a-half weeks from now, we’ll be arriving in Daytona for Speedweeks: First The Clash on Feb. 18 and then the Daytona 500 on the 26th.

Between now and then, there is a tremendous amount of work to do be done by the folks and Monster and at NASCAR, and I don’t envy them their respective labors. They’ve aren’t going to have much of an off-season. In fact, I’m quite sure there at Defcon IV already.

This partnership between NASCAR and Monster needs to work for both parties.

Monster needs a fair return on its investment, and NASCAR needs a partner that will aggressively market the sport and attract new fans.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: If you’ve ever seen a Monster Energy Supercross race in person or even on TV, you know there’s a tremendous amount of excitement in the pre-race and the race itself: fireworks, loud music, lights and atmosphere that something big is about to happen.

There’s no doubt that a similar formula — with some tweaks — could really elevate NASCAR to a level it hasn’t been in a few years.

So welcome to the age of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

I hope it turns out to be a great one, and I believe it will.

See you in Daytona!