HendrickCars.com To Sponsor Kurt Busch's Daytona 500 Ride For Phoenix Racing
HendrickCars.com will sponsor Phoenix Racing and Kurt Busch in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Daytona 500, as well as the season-opening Nationwide Series Drive4COPD 300. HendrickCars.com also will be a major associate sponsor of Richard Childress Racing’s No. 33 Chevrolet driven by Elliott Sadler for the Daytona 500 (Hendricks Automotive Group). Phoenix Racing “purchases cars from Hendricks and runs primarily Hendrick engines” (SCENEDAILY.com, 2/13). Busch joined Phoenix Racing after being dropped from Penske Racing following an incident with ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch at the '11 Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. ESPN's Ricky Craven said of Busch, “He needs to embrace his new team, his new role. He needs to go to work and he needs to be quiet.” Craven said this season for Busch is “critical,” as NASCAR is a "sponsor-driven sport, and he’s not as appealing to the sponsors as he once was.” Craven noted that Phoenix Racing co-Owner James Finch “doesn’t have a lot of tolerance for bologna” so Busch needs to “go back to the old-school driving, focus on what got him to Sprint Cup Series racing.” Craven: “Be careful, Kurt, because James Finch doesn’t have a big sponsor. Drivers have security with big sponsors. That’s gone. He needs to be on the straight and narrow this year” (“NASCAR Now,” ESPN2, 2/13).
HITCHIN' A RIDE: YAHOO SPORTS’ Nick Bromberg noted NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip “will drive the No. 40 for Hillman Racing" during the Daytona 500. Hillman is a single-car team attempting make the Daytona lineup “for the first time.” Sponsorship “will come from Aaron's, a long time sponsor of Waltrip” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/13).