Monster Energy will be the primary sponsor of Ricky Carmichael's late model stock car program, which begins on Saturday night at Columbia Motorsports Park in Lake City, Florida.

Carmichael, a 15-time AMA national champion and holder of a record 147 career wins in Supercross and Motocross, announced last October that he would join Ginn Racing's development program in 2007.

Monster Energy has been a major sponsor of Carmichael's Supercross and motocross programs. Carmichael ended his Supercross career last week in Orlando and is scheduled to compete in six Motocross events before retiring from the outdoor competition to concentrate full time on his stock car career, which he hopes will one day lead to a NASCAR Nextel Cup drive.

Ginn's Nextel Cup pilot Mark Martin will mentor Carmichael as part of his role as the company's driver development director.

"Monster Energy has been an outstanding sponsor and I am excited that this well-known and high-profile energy drink is partnering with our late model program," said Carmichael. "I can't wait to get started in my new career. When you have Ginn Racing, Mark Martin and now Monster Energy on your team, it's really easy to get pumped up - it just doesn't get any better."

27-year-old Carmichael is expected to run in 15 late model stock car races in 2007. After this weekend's race in Lake City, Carmichael's other two scheduled events at this time are April 21 and April 28 at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

"We are excited to continue our association with Ricky and follow him into the next phase of his career," said Sam Pontrelli, Monster Energy's vice president of marketing. "Ricky is a fierce competitor and we know that his determination will make him successful in whatever he does."