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SHR adds sponsor building block on Newman's car

October 02, 2012, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com



SHR adds sponsor building block on Newman's car
Quicken Loans doubles commitment for '13, becomes primary sponsor of No. 39

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. -- Tony Stewart will admit, there have been times when he's worried about the spate of recent sponsor losses at Stewart-Haas Racing. Tuesday, though, assuaged those concerns to a large degree and helped ensure that his teammate's car will be on the track full-time on the Sprint Cup circuit.

Stewart-Haas announced that sponsor Quicken Loans, which is backing nine races on Ryan Newman's vehicle this season, will double that commitment for next year and become the primary backer of the No. 39 car. The move fills what had been a large chunk of open inventory on Newman's Chevrolet, which is losing current primary U.S. Army after this season, and is likely the first step toward restocking the organization's sponsor roster for the 2013 campaign.

"It takes a lot of the pressure off of ensuring whether or not we're going to have this car on the track full-time next year. It will be on the track full-time."

--TONY STEWART

"It's a huge first step in filling a couple of large voids," said Stewart, the team's co-owner and lead driver. "Hopefully we'll have a domino effect with this, and get the rest of the inventory taken care of so we can worry about building fast race cars and getting results for them."

Newman signed a one-year contract extension with the organization last month despite the fact that SHR hadn't yet secured a primary sponsor for his car. The increased commitment from Detroit-based Quicken Loans, plus the retention of several smaller sponsors, now has Newman's sponsor inventory nearly replenished for the 2013 season, Stewart said.

"We have a little bit of inventory to sell on Ryan's car, but we're really close," said Stewart, currently 32 points behind Chase leader Brad Keselowski heading into this weekend's event at Talladega Superspeedway. "On Ryan's car, this is the best shape we've been in."

Now Stewart can turn his full attention to filling the sponsorship voids on his own No. 14 Chevrolet, which is losing primary Office Depot after this season. On that front, the driver is optimistic. "We feel like we have a couple of leads that hopefully will help us get this done before the end of the year," he said. "So I'm excited that we'll hopefully have that taken care of before the season actually ends."

Quicken Loans, which first partnered with SHR prior to this year, will also be an associate sponsor on Stewart's car. The company's nine-race deal for 2012 includes four more events still to come this season. "We just felt it was a great partnership," said Jay Farner, the company's president and chief marketing officer. "So how do we take what we've learned and do more? So we've decided to double down."

For Newman, who missed the Chase this season after making the playoff in 2010, the deal brings a degree of security. "It's nice to have a direction of who your partners are going to be," Newman said. "... Without a doubt, it's a big first step in the right direction for me from a long-term contract standpoint."

And for Stewart, it's a key building block. SHR will field three Sprint Cup cars next season, including one for Danica Patrick that will be sponsored by GoDaddy. With a major sponsorship addition now attached to Newman's vehicle, the reigning series champion is certain all three of those entries will compete full-time.

"It takes a lot of the pressure off of ensuring whether or not we're going to have this car on the track full-time next year," Stewart said. "It will be on the track full-time."