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The U.S. Census Bureau is gets one last shot at a win as primary sponsor of the No. 16 Ford Fusion driven by Greg Biffle when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series visits Martinsville Speedway in Virginia this weekend. Biffle, who drives one of five Roush Fenway-owned Cup cars, has one career top-10 finish at the track known as the “Paperclip” because of its unique design.
The three-race sponsorship began four weeks ago at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where Biffle drove the 2010 Census No. 16 Ford to a top-10 finish, and continued at Bristol Motor Speedway last Sunday, where he finished fourth, earning his fifth top-10 finish in as many races.
“We are working hard to remind every person that census participation is important, safe and easy, and we thank Greg and everyone associated with the No. 16 team for helping us spread the word,” said Census Bureau Director Robert Groves. “NASCAR fans will know that Martinsville is the shortest track on the circuit and that's a great reminder that this is one of the shortest forms in Census history. With just 10 questions, it should take about 10 minutes to complete”.
The Census Bureau urges everyone to fill out their form and mail it back in an effort to improve on the 72 percent participation rate the nation achieved in 2000. For every 1 percent increase in the national response rate by mail, the Census Bureau can save taxpayers $85 million by not sending census takers door to door to households that failed to return the census form. If every household mailed back its form, the cost of taking the census would be reduced by $1.5 billion.
To track national and local participation rates, the Census Bureau's “Take 10” Rate Tracker is available for download at http://2010.census.gov/2010census/take10map/. The new interactive Google Maps application shows mail participation rates for 2010 — updated daily — and allows communities to compare with 2000 response rates.
The 2010 Census No. 16 Ford Fusion features the familiar Post-it Brand notes of primary sponsor 3M carrying both the 2010 Census logo and “mail it back!” on the hood, rear quarter panels and rear bumper. Additional elements stemming from the $1.2 million sponsorship include television spots on Fox during the races, 10 show car dates across the country and a public service announcement with Biffle (view the PSA at <http://2010.census.gov/mediacenter/>).
Biffle, a nine-year veteran of NASCAR's Cup Series, is one of the sport's top performers and currently sits in fourth place in 2010 Sprint Cup Series points.
The 2010 Census is a count of everyone living in the United States. By law, everyone in the United States, both citizens and noncitizens, must be counted every 10 years. Census data are used to reapportion congressional seats to states and directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal funding is distributed to state, local and tribal governments. The 2010 Census form is one of the shortest census questionnaires in history and takes about 10 minutes to complete. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone, including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities.