Stewart-Haas Racing is still seeking sponsorship for a “majority” of the 2017 races for Clint Bowyer, as well as Danica Patrick, according to ESPN’s Bob Pockrass.
Team owner Tony Stewart, who stepped away from driving full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2016, commented on the issue.
“We definitely have a lot of races to sell right now. … It’s definitely not a position we want to be in. It’s a curveball for us. But I’m very confident in our marketing staff. I don’t feel like this is a deal breaker for us. We won’t sacrifice performance over this. When you have four teams. It’s a lot of inventory to sell. You’re going to have times like this.”
The Kansas native’s sponsorship status has been vague for fans and SHR alike. So far, the only confirmed partners for Bowyer’s 2017 campaign include Mobil 1, and Rush
Truck Centers, however the number of races per sponsor was never revealed. Both Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers have been partners of Stewart’s No.14 car since 2011 and 2013 respectively.
Tony Stewart’s 2016 campaign also included some sponsorship woes. Bass Pro Shops, who was an anchor sponsor of Smoke since 2013, decided to shift their sponsorship allotment to Martin Truex Jr.’s #78 Toyota Camry, who will carry the BPS colors for roughly half the season in 2017. While Bass Pro Shops did make a handful of appearances on Stewart’s Chevrolet in 2016, the outdoorsmen’s empire spent more time with Truex., and also visited victory lane once as the primary sponsor at the Coca-Cola 600 in May. HAAS Automation, Chevrolet, Mobil 1, and Nature’s Bakery all helped in filling in the large void left by Bass Pro Shops.
HAAS Automation is expected to sponsor Bowyer in races where no sponsor can be found, due to Gene Haas, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing, owning the company and the race team. Clint’s former sponsors at MWR and HSCOTT Motorsprots, including Visine, PEAK, Georgia Boot, or Gander Mountain, have yet to make any announcement regarding their sponsorship plans for 2017, if any.
As for Danica Patrick, her 2017 sponsorship woes started with losing 28-race-per-year partner Nature’s Bakery due to missed payments to SHR. Aspen Dental stepped up to sponsor Patrick in a “double-digit” amount of races. Code 3 Associates jumps from Car No.14 to Car No.10 for three races, and TaxACT is returning for 2017 as well for three races on the hood. The 2013 Daytona 500 pole winner has at least half the season covered if previous season numbers still match with this season’s sponsorship lineup. Mobil 1 will also adorn her hood for an unannounced number of races, as well as all 4 SHR Fords.