Inside the Garage: Lack of Sponsorship Could Force Newman Out of a Ride in 2014

Newman walks away from his car after a wreck during last Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix Photo- Getty Images

Newman walks away from his car after a wreck during last Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix Photo- Getty Images

It’s no secret that in NASCAR today, you need to have talent and a sponsor who has your back. Without either of those two things, it’s very difficult to succeed in today’s NASCAR world. A good sponsor is hard to come by these days and finding a sponsor who will back you up no matter what is even more difficult to find. This season will be Ryan Newman’s last under contract with Stewart-Hass Racing and unless Newman can secure a primary sponsor for next season, he may be forced out of his ride.

Newman and team-owner Tony Stewart scrapped together a deal with various sponsors for this season but, just about all-of-the sponsor deals are one year deals. Quicken Loans stepped up their sponsorship for Newman this season after U.S Army left Newman after last season, leaving Newman without a primary sponsor. Quicken Loans had sponsored Newman last season but, only in a few races and they increased their sponsorship for Newman this year, becoming Newman’s primary sponsor. Quicken Loans only scheduled their sponsorship of the No.39 Chevy SS for this season and the possibility of them doing the same next season is very slim.

SHR did all they could to get Newman sponsorship for this season and they were successful in getting it from various companies for most of this seasons races. Companies including Outback Steakhouse, WIX Filters, Aspen Dental and Code 3 Associates will have their company featured on Newman’s car this season and most of those deals were vital in getting Newman a chance to compete for the full-season. If some of those sponsors decide to pull their name of Newman’s car after this season, Newman will be in deep trouble if he wants to race for SHR in 2014. NASCAR has turned into a money sport where to compete big-time you need sponsors and with no sponsor, there’s no opportunity to race.

As we all know, it costs big bucks to sponsor a car in the Sprint Cup Series. When companies take on huge rolls to sponsor a team for half the season, like Quicken Loans is doing for Newman, it cost a ton of money and many companies don’t like spending those big bucks for many seasons. That leaves teams searching for sponsors after each season so they can go out and compete each weekend. It is likely that Quicken Loans won’t step up again next season like they did this season unless they are happy with Newman’s results and if Newman can’t perform, he may be searching for a sponsor and potentially a ride.

Stewart-Hass Racing is adding to their driver lineup in 2014 with Kevin Harvick coming over to join the group. Harvick has yet to confirm this but; Harvick’s current team-owner Richard Childress did so during the media tour back before Daytona. That means SHR will have at least three full-time cars in 2014 that currently have sponsorship secured. Harvick will bring over Budweiser, Jimmy Johns and Rheem. Danica Patrick will continue to have GoDaddy.com as her sponsor and team-owner Tony Stewart will likely continue to be sponsored by Mobil 1 and Bass Pro Shops. That leaves Newman out of the picture since he has just about nothing confirmed regarding next season. Newman will need a sponsor if he wants to stay with SHR next season and if not, he will be testing the free-agent waters.

Sponsors are such a big part of our sport today and without them, NASCAR wouldn’t be what it is today. Many drivers have great relationships with their sponsors and the sponsors stick with the driver since the driver is a great promoter for their product. Sponsorship loyalty is a big deal these days and many drivers don’t have the loyalty which makes them wonder how they will get to the race track each season. Ryan Newman doesn’t have a long-time sponsor secured and that leaves many to wonder what Newman will do next season without a secured primary sponsor. If Newman and SHR can’t acquire a primary sponsor by the time preparation for next season starts, Newman will be forced out of his current ride and he will fall into a position where no driver ever wants to be. He will have his future in doubt and he’ll end up as a free agent. A free agent without a sponsor is not a driver any team would go after and there’s a possibility that Newman could be that driver after the 2013 season.

By Jason Schultz

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4 comments

  1. Interesting isn’t it. There was a time when sponsors were willing to pay to have their name on the car for an entire season. Cost were allowed to rise dramatically. Now only a few companies sponsor for a full season, most are for only a limited amount of races. Cost are being allowed to continually rise. In all likelihood at some point sponsorships will be for one race. Surely cost will continue to rise. So what then?

  2. So why would it be slim for Quicken Loans to return next season when they have just doubled their sponsorship this season? And Outback is putting a lot of promotion out on all those freebie onions every time theres a top 10 finish. A Quicken/Newman package would be attractive to a few teams. And I bet James Finch, or Richard Petty Motorsports would take him even without a huge sponsorship!

    1. Sponsors don’t stay at SHR for long and if Newman can’t perform, QL won’t want to stay and Newman will be out of a ride. I don’t believe QL is a long-term sponsor and I don’t believe they’ll want to stay with Newman for long.

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