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SBD/September 5, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
NASCAR's Silly Season Begins With Kenseth Heading To JGR, Logano To Penske
Published September 5, 2012
UP IN SMOKE: USA TODAY's Ryan in a separate piece noted Stewart-Haas Racing's "sponsorship hunt deepened Sunday when it was announced Office Depot wouldn't return as a primary backer" of Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet. The office supply retailer "has been a co-primary sponsor of Stewart since the 2009 season," when Stewart became a co-owner of the team. Office Depot is the primary sponsor of 22 Cup races in '12, with Mobil 1 "as the primary of the other 14." Mobil 1 "will return in 2013, but the team will need to fill a void for the majority of Stewart's races." That "might mean a patchwork quilt of sponsorship for Stewart that is similar to teammate Ryan Newman, who has eight primary sponsors rotating on his No. 39 Chevy." SHR also is "trying to find a 2013 replacement for the 14 races backed by the U.S. Army, which announced earlier this season it wouldn't be returning after four seasons with Newman." Newton noted Stewart "was used frequently by Office Depot in national advertising campaigns and in charitable visits to schools" (USATODAY.com, 9/3).
NAPA KNOW-HOW: The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER's Utter on Saturday noted Michael Waltrip Racing on Friday announced that driver Martin Truex Jr. and sponsor NAPA "had both signed three-year contract extensions." Truex and teammate Clint Bowyer are "set to become the first drivers in MWR's six-year existence to qualify for the Chase" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/1). The AP's Paul Newberry noted NAPA "has a long history sponsoring NASCAR and decided to stay on board in a major role, rather than a part-time deal that would've required Waltrip to seek additional backing" (AP, 8/31).
DRIVER FOR HIRE: SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass reported driver Elliott Sadler "won't return to Richard Childress Racing next season" to run in the Nationwide Series. Team Owner Richard Childress on Sunday said that Sadler "has decided to leave the organization." A JGR spokesperson said that JGR "has no deal to announce with Sadler." However, Pockrass noted JGR is the "most likely destination if Sadler wants to remain in a top-tier Nationwide ride" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 9/2).