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Valvoline, a brand of specialty chemicals maker Ashland Inc. (ASH - Snapshot Report), has launched the NextGen stunt amplifier. Valvoline has partnered with Roush Fenway Racing, one of the most successful teams in NASCAR history, and its NASCAR Nationwide Series champion driver Travis Pastrana, to showcase the exciting recycling stunts to the fans.

For easy availability, the fans of Travis Pastrana can click youtube.com/Valvoline to view a series of homemade stunt videos and give their votes or comments to make those stunts more thrilling. The team of thrill-seekers and the Valvoline brand will then decide to repeat one such stunt at an unforeseen location depending on fan votes. Separately, the fans can visit Valvoline NextGen's Facebook page to engage with Pastrana so as to get a chance to win autographed prizes.

Valvoline is in a multi-year partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and the launch of NextGen Stunt Amplifier is the latest program coming from them. The long-time proven partner Roush Fenway first adopted NextGen motor oil technology, tested it at the laboratory and on the tracks in 2011.  Impressed by its performance, Roush Fenway later decided that its total Sprint Cup and Nationwide race cars would use Valvoline with NextGen technology in 2012.

Ever since the use of Valvoline began with NextGen technology in the regular season cars in 2011, Roush Fenway Racing have been crowned with victory by winning 57 races in total including 17 triumphs in NASCAR. Also, Roush Fenway Racing has won two Nationwide series championships using Valvoline with NextGen technology in 2011 and 2012.

Ashland, last month, reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 (ended Mar 31, 2013) adjusted earnings (excluding one-time items) from continuing operation of $1.78 per share, outshining the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.56.

Profits from continuing operations, as reported, fell roughly 39% year over year to $55 million of 68 cents a share. Revenues fell 5% year over year to $1,974 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,057 million. The company was challenged by weakness across a number of key regions, especially Europe. It witnessed lower sales across each of its business segments in the quarter on lower demand.

Ashland currently carries a short-term Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Other companies in the chemical industry that are worth considering include Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (SHECY), Methanex Corp. (MEOH - Analyst Report) and Celanese Corporation (CE - Analyst Report). All of them retain a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
 

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