Follow me on

Twitter Feed Facebook Feed RSS Feed Linked In Youtube

Could Danica Patrick help spark NASCAR's marketers? Sponsorship worries abound in the stock car garage

  After 10 years, and that Daytona 500 victory, DeWalt says goodbye to Matt Kenseth and NASCAR (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   The decision by toolmaker/sponsor DeWalt to leave NASCAR and the Matt Kenseth-Jack Roush team at the end of the season, after more than 10 years together – including victory in this year's Daytona 500 – hangs like a heavy cloud over the stock car racing garage because now there are fears that other major sponsors may too decide NASCAR racing is simply too expensive.
   And that may put more pressure on NASCAR executives to figure out how to get hot marketing star Danica Patrick into this side of the sport, to spark this sport out of the doldrums.
   Patrick is one of the top-three best-known American racers, and she just toured several NASCAR Sprint Cup team shops in North Carolina last week, including the Jack Roush shops and Tony Stewart shops.
   Until Friday there had been considerable speculation that she was leaning toward joining the Chip Ganassi camp; Ganassi has NASCAR teams, Indy-car teams and Grand American teams. However Ganassi was cool here Friday when asked about the possibility he might sign Patrick. Ganassi's current Chevrolet factory sponsorship is the subject of debate; and driver Martin Truex Jr. just announced two weeks ago he would be leaving at the end of the season to join Toyota's Michael Waltrip. With Ganassi all but taking himself out of the Danica Patrick sweepstakes, the ball could be now in Roger Penske's court. Penske easily has the ability to put Patrick in any variety of rides, including a top Indy-car ride and a top NASCAR Cup ride.
   Patrick is racing in Edmonton, Canada, this weekend.
   Kenseth concedes "there's added concern" with the pending loss of DeWalt. "When the whole economy is like this, and you see a lot of different sponsors not be in the sport anymore, and not be around… whenever you lose a sponsor from the sport that always concerns me, whether that's our team or somebody else's team," Kenseth says.
    But then Kenseth also concedes his team, after opening with wins at Daytona and Los Angeles, hasn't been that sharp lately: "You're only as good as your last race…and we stunk our last race.
   "So we've got to try to get a good finish and perform at the level we know we're capable of."

  So, could Danica Patrick boost NASCAR's marketeering efforts? (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


If Danifraud is so

If Danifraud is so marketable, where are the new sponsors for IRL?

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.

© 2010-2011 www.mikemulhern.net All rights reserved.
Web site by www.webdesigncarolinas.com