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Volume 24 No. 159
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Wheels & Deals: Rheem To Sponsor RCR's No. 29 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ride

Rheem Manufacturing Co. Thursday announced a multiyear agreement with Richard Childress Racing to be the primary sponsor for the No. 29 Chevy driven by Kevin Harvick for 10 races during the ’12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Rheem will also be the co-primary sponsor alongside Budweiser for the NASCAR All-Star Race and an associate sponsor for the remaining 26 races of the season. The company will continue its co-sponsorship with Menards for RCR’s No. 33 Chevy driven by Paul Menard and others in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in the ’12 season. Rheem also announced an agreement with Eddie Sharp Racing to be the season-long primary sponsor of the No. 33 Chevy in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in ’12 (RCR).

RETIRING THE BULL: NASCAR driver Brian Vickers talked about his primary sponsor Red Bull pulling out of the sport and said there was one single reason for why they "decided to exit." Vickers said, "They decided to sell the team and exit the sport and focus on some other media stuff in Europe and different things. There’s really no more information at this time. They’re still trying to sell the team. I know there was a comment that they were going to stay in the sport. To my knowledge, that’s not true. I wish they would." He noted internal figures show the NASCAR sponsorship is "probably one of the best assets they have" (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 11/2).

RETURNING STARTERS: Penske Racing Thursday said that it again will field Izod IndyCar rides in '12 for Ryan Briscoe, Helio Castroneves and Will Power, the "same lineup Penske has fielded since 2009.” The team said that sponsorship announcements “will be made in the coming months” (AP, 11/3).

NOTES: YAHOO SPORTS’ Jay Busbee reported Michael Waltrip Racing “has officially confirmed that [driver] David Reutimann’s time with the team is done as of the end of the 2011 season.” This “gives fuel to the reports earlier in the week that Mark Martin would be coming on board MWR as a part-time driver, with much of Reutimann’s sponsorship money potentially going to Clint Bowyer” (, 11/3)....Freescale Semiconductor Holdings “has become an official sponsor for NASCAR, and Freescale’s engine control chips will be on modules that control the fuel injection system for every NASCAR race car.” The chip connection “officially starts in February at the Daytona 500” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 11/4).