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Volume 25 No. 175
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Arris Expected To Leave JGR, In Talks To Follow Suarez To SHR

Arris has been in talks to sponsor a sizable chunk of Suarez’ season next year

Arris is expected to leave Joe Gibbs Racing this offseason and is in talks to follow driver Daniel Suarez to Stewart-Haas Racing, according to sources. The global telecommunications equipment company has sponsored JGR’s No. 19 in the Cup Series since ’15, and it also sponsored Suarez in the Xfinity Series before he graduated to Cup to replace Carl Edwards in ’17. The company’s precise spend was unclear but was likely around low eight figures annually. Suarez’ tenure with JGR ended this season -- he is being replaced next season by Martin Truex Jr. -- and sources said Arris is expected to leave the team as well in order to continue backing the Mexican driver. Arris' deal did not expire this year; it was unclear whether JGR was agreeing to release the company early or whether Arris will buy itself out. Suarez has not yet been confirmed to be joining SHR but his management team has been in advanced talks with the team. It was not known whether a deal with Arris had been officially signed yet, and it is possible the negotiations could end without a deal. But the company has been in talks to sponsor a sizable chunk of Suarez’ season next year. Moreover, Mexico-based businessman Carlos Slim Domit, who backs Suarez, was at Homestead-Miami Speedway last month, as were several Arris execs and an exec from CommScope, which recently acquired Arris for $7.4B. An Arris spokesperson said that it is not yet clear whether Arris will remain a separate brand or fold into CommScope as part of the acquisition, but the spokesperson declined all comment on its possible move in NASCAR. JGR has not commented.

STAYING LOYAL: Domit last month told the AP that he will continue to back Suarez next year, and Arris is a major vendor to the telecommunications company that Domit helps oversees, a B2B relationship that further reinforces the expectation that Arris will continue backing Suarez next year. The company had considered a full exit from NASCAR after it became clear that Suarez was being ousted in early September, but it appears that Domit has been able to get Arris to consider reversing that decision. Whether Arris’ spend on NASCAR will be reduced or continue at the same rate was unclear. Arris, which also has become a vendor to NASCAR and its teams, works with MKTG on its motorsports marketing.