Loss Of Sponsorship Has HScott Motorsports Considering Several Options For '17
With multiple sponsors on the way out after '16 and questions swirling about the future of his organization, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team Owner Harry Scott is only ready to say that he is “considering several options” for next season, according to a statement provided to THE DAILY. The two-car HScott Motorsports outfit, which Scott purchased and renamed from Phoenix Racing in '13, will lose the primary sponsor of its No. 15 Chevy, 5-Hour Energy, and driver Clint Bowyer after this season as part of a pre-set move for Bowyer to replace the retiring Tony Stewart at Stewart-Haas Racing in '17. HSM, whose other primary sponsor is Pilot Flying J, also will lose less prominent sponsors Peak and Visine after this season. Pilot Flying J's future with the team is unclear; its contract with HSM is year-to-year. HSM was not allowed to pursue renewals with Peak, Visine or 5-Hour due to the terms of its contract with Bowyer, who brought the brands to HSM from the now-defunct Michael Waltrip Racing for ’16 only. Because of the outgoing sponsorship, HSM would likely need to find new sponsorship, or inject private funding, to continue on in its current form. HSM, which also has a presence in NASCAR’s regional K&N Series, owns one of NASCAR’s 36 charters, the No. 15, and has for this season leased another one, the No. 46 from Premium Motorsports. HSM’s search for new sponsorship comes amid a challenging season on track, where Bowyer is currently 25th in points with no wins while Michael Annett, who drives the No. 46, is 37th and also winless.
STATUS OF CHARTER IMPORTANT: Asked about the future of HSM given the uncertainties, Tuckahoe Strategies President Ramsey Poston, who represents Scott, said, “Harry is considering several options for 2017 but no decisions have been made. … Harry, and all of HSM, continues to be primarily focused on racing hard week in and week out.” If HSM were to sell or lease its charter, candidates for it would likely include Furniture Row Racing. FRR has publicly stated its desire to get a charter for the No. 77 Toyota that it will bring to the series next year as it expands to a two-car operation. Poston said HSM is currently “in no formal discussions with Furniture Row” over the possible charter sale. While generally agreed upon that it is somewhere in the seven figures, the value of charters is a still-unfolding topic of high interest to industry executives, and any sales of them over the coming months will be watched closely.