Stewart Haas team still short many sponsors Stewart-Haas Racing still needs sponsorship for at least 20 races for 2013, but Tony Stewart isn’t ruling out expansion to a four-car operation.
Stewart said Monday that the team still has nine races open for sponsorship on his No. 14 car, eight or nine races open for Ryan Newman and his No. 39 team and three open for Danica Patrick and her No. 10 team. “We’d love to sell that inventory,” Stewart said Monday during the Sprint Media Tour. “It’s still a business. We’d love to sell that inventory. That would make it easier on us.
“Racers are very resourceful. They always have been. You take what you have and make the most of it.”
Despite possibly having several races unsponsored for 2013, Stewart said he could have a four-car operation in 2014.
Kevin Harvick is expected to join the team and while Harvick has plenty of personal sponsors (Jimmy John’s. Rheem, etc.) that could go with him, Stewart would need Harvick sponsor Budweiser to also make the move — a move considered likely — to keep from having to do another significant sponsor search.
With the expected addition of Harvick and Patrick having a multiyear deal, that would leave Newman without a ride unless the team expanded to four cars.
“We’re working at it,” Stewart said about the possibility of going to four cars for 2014. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not. That’s our goal. … We’ll just keep working at it.”
SHR was a two-car operation for its first four seasons, but expanded this year with Patrick, who has sponsorship for most of the season from Go Daddy.
Stewart sponsor Office Depot left after last season and while Bass Pro Shops has singed on for 18 races, Mobil 1 cut back from 16 to 11 races.
Newman lost a 12-race sponsorship from the U.S. Army but Quicken Loans increased its deal from nine to 18 races.
Newman has never had full “outside” sponsorship while at SHR. His car has frequently carried the logos of Haas Automation, the company owned by team co-owner Gene Haas.
“I still think it’s the fallout of the economy,” Stewart said “A lot of people have expressed interest. The interest is still there, it’s just a lot of people are financially not able to do what they want to do.
“If the interest wasn’t there, I’d be a little more concerned.” Sporting News