Army Sounds NASCAR Retreat
The U.S. Army, it was announced Tuesday, has decided not to renew its sponsorship with Stewart-Haas Racing in 2013 as a primary sponsor of the No. 39 Chevrolet driven by Ryan Newman due to a reallocation of its marketing budget that will not include a presence in NASCAR.
Also Tuesday, Stewart-Haas announced it has finalized Danica Patrick’s plans for 2012.
SHR said it is actively pursuing a strong brand to partner with the team and its roster of sponsors that also includes Office Depot, Mobil 1, Quicken Loans, GoDaddy.com, Haas Automation, Chevrolet, WIX Filters, Outback Steakhouse, Aspen Dental, Tornados, Coca-Cola, Oreo, Ritz, Bass Pro Shops and Code 3 Associates.
“The U.S. Army has been a great partner of Stewart-Haas Racing since the team’s inception,
Brett Frood, Executive Vice President, Stewart-Haas Racing, said Tuesday. “It has been a mutually beneficial relationship, with the U.S. Army introducing training regimens that improved our pit crews while instilling the mental, physical and emotional strength of the U.S. Army Soldier in all of us. We remain very proud of our representation of the U.S. Army and its brave Soldiers who are 100 percent committed to our country. We will continue to activate on behalf of the U.S. Army for the rest of 2012, while also growing our other dynamic partnerships at Stewart-Haas Racing for the future.”
Newman has 16 Sprint Cup victories. He was the 2008 winner of the Daytona 500.
But the following year, he was hired by start-up owner Stewart and has been in the No. 39 since. He has just three victories as an SHR driver.
His primary sponsor has been the U.S. Army. He has one victory this year: at Martinsville.
“The U.S. Army has worked with Stewart-Haas Racing in a mutually beneficial and highly successful relationship for the past four seasons, and they’ve performed superbly as our partner on and off the track,” John Myers, Director, Marketing Support Element, Army Marketing and Research Group, said. “The same can be said of other members of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series family we have sponsored during the past 10 seasons. The sport, our drivers and the passionate NASCAR fans embraced the Army’s participation and created a tremendous opportunity for Americans to learn more about the profession of the Army Strong Soldier.”
Patrick will compete in the Oct. 21 Hollywood Casino 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the newly-paved Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan.
Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for Tommy Baldwin Racing via a collaborative agreement with Stewart-Haas, will benefit from an extra day of practice, scheduled for the Thursday before the race weekend due to the 1.5-mile oval being resurfaced since the Sprint Cup Series’ last visit to Kansas in April.
“With the testing rules the way they are, we can’t test with her at tracks where NASCAR’s top three series compete,” said Greg Zipadelli, SHR competition director and race strategist for Patrick. “That extra day of testing will be huge for her. With the amount of 1.5-mile ovals on the schedule, it made sense to have her compete at Kansas to better prepare her for 2013.”
The addition of Kansas Speedway completes Patrick’s 10-race Sprint Cup schedule for 2012, which includes upcoming races at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Aug. 25, Atlanta Motor Speedway Sept. 2, Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., Sept. 16, Dover (Del.) International Speedway Sept. 30, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth Nov. 4 and Phoenix International Raceway Nov. 11.
Patrick made her Sprint Cup debut in the season-opening Daytona 500 Feb. 27 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and has since competed in the Southern 500 May 12 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway and the Coca-Cola 600 May 27 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Patrick is no stranger to Kansas Speedway. She scored her first career IZOD IndyCar Series pole in July 2005 and qualified third or better in three of her six starts at Kansas. She also had three top-10 finishes at Kansas in IndyCar Series competition. Her lone NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Kansas came in October 2011 when she started 15th and finished 15th.
“I’ve always liked racing at Kansas Speedway,” Patrick said. “I think the extra day of testing will be very beneficial, not only to prepare for the race weekend, but to learn for the rest of 2012 and looking ahead to 2013 with Stewart-Haas Racing. The more track time I can get, the better, so I’m happy to be driving the GoDaddy.com Chevy at Kansas.”No Comment