Roush team searching for sponsors, not Danica

Roush Fenway Racing is still looking for many sponsors for next season. What it is not looking for is sponsorship for Danica Patrick.

Roush Fenway President Geoff Smith said time is running out to get sponsorship for the organization's No. 26 team in order to be able to move that group to Yates Racing. Roush Fenway must cut from five to four Cup teams after the 2009 season. It still needs to find half a season of sponsorship for Matt Kenseth on the Cup side as well as sponsors to help field the organization's three or four Nationwide teams.

Smith said the problem in trying to do a multiple-sponsor deal with one team is that the organization can’t guarantee it would run the entire season. Even if a company isn’t interested in a full primary sponsor role, it wants to be with a team that is running the full schedule, Smith said.

“It’s Labor Day and there has been no significant change in the economy of the sport as it relates to sponsors," Smith said. “If anything, there’s been a frenzy to try to get costs reduced from the sponsors that are here. Usually by this time there are four or five big players that are entering the sport that we can all go compete for.

“That’s not here right now. These programs are not simple investments."

As far as Patrick, Smith said Roush Fenway had discussions with the Indy Racing League driver’s representatives a few months ago but the team wasn’t interested in a proposed program that he said would be for a few Nationwide races prior to the start of the IndyCar Series season and then a few more after that season ends.

“We’re not in play," Smith said. “We’ve got cars, but I have no idea what differences in the discussions there have been among the various teams by her agents.

“I only know what the discussions were with us and what our approach would be, and there doesn’t seem to be any interest in [that] approach. … We couldn’t see any way to make the money piece work out with the plan they laid out. The plan may be different now. I don’t know." More at

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