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Shell/Pennzoil loss will be blow to RCRUPDATE Shell Oil Co. confirmed Wednesday morning that it will leave Richard Childress Racing and move to Penske Racing next season. See Hot News page for announcement.
The following is a statement from Richard Childress, president and chief executive officer of Richard Childress Racing, regarding the announcement by Shell Oil Company that it will end its sponsorship of the No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet at the conclusion of the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season:
“Shell and Pennzoil have been great partners with Richard Childress Racing since our first race together, when Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 team won the Daytona 500 in 2007. I’m disappointed that our partnership will conclude at the end of the year but understand some of the reasons that went into their business decision. RCR will continue to provide Shell-Pennzoil the highest caliber program possible, keeping in sharp focus the ultimate goal of winning the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship. What this creates for RCR is the opportunity for a new partner to forge its own relationship and identity with Kevin Harvick and the championship-level team led by crew chief Gil Martin, our other race teams and drivers, and our other 35 partners. The No. 29 team has had only two primary sponsors since it began in 2001 but the number 3 has played a significant role at RCR for decades. We feel strongly that the third chapter of the No. 29 team’s partnership history will be a successful one.”
04/20/10 Shell/Pennzoil is expected to leave Richard Childress Racing and driver Kevin Harvick at the end of the season and will sponsor a car at Penske Racing—likely for 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch—beginning in 2011, SceneDaily.com reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the situation.
An announcement concerning the Shell/Pennzoil sponsorship is expected to come Wednesday.
According to sources, the leading candidate for the Pennzoil sponsorship is Busch, whose contract with Penske runs out at the end of this year but team owner Roger Penske has said he planned to pick up the option and just needed to negotiate terms with Busch.
Busch's current sponsor, Miller Lite, could move to Brad Keselowski, whose car does not have sponsor logos but gets support from Verizon, which cannot be on the hood of a Sprint Cup car because of Sprint's sponsorship of the series.
With Shell/Pennzoil as a sponsor, Mobil, sponsor of Penske Cup driver Sam Hornish Jr., likely is going away because Mobil and Shell are competitors.
Shell/Pennzoil has been with Harvick since 2007; Busch has been the Miller Lite driver since 2006.
The departure of Shell/Pennzoil from RCR leaves that organization, as well as Harvick, looking for a sponsor. Harvick's contract expires at the end of this year.
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