Richard Childress Racing made it official Tuesday morning: Budweiser will sponsor the No. 29 Chevrolet driven by Kevin Harvick next season.
Budweiser will be the primary sponsor of 20 points-paying events next season, as well the Gatorade Duels and Budweiser Shootout. The King of Beers will also be a co-primary sponsor for the 2011 Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte. Budweiser will stay on the ride as an associate sponsor for the remaining 16 events on the schedule.
“Budweiser is one of the most respected sponsors in our sport,” Harvick said. “They do a lot to market their teams and the sport in television broadcasts and away from the track. I’m looking forward to driving the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, taking it to Victory Lane and winning championships.”
Earlier this season, it was announced that Harvick’s team would lose the Shell-Pennzoil sponsorship after this season. It was later announced that Shell-Pennzoil would move over to Penske Racing’s Kurt Busch next season.
Kasey Kahne had held the Budweiser sponsorship since it left the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car after the 2007 season when Earnhardt left Dale Earnhardt Inc. for Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne announced last week that he would drive at Red Bull Racing next thus giving him full sponsorship next season from Red Bull.
Budweiser has sponsored a long-list of drivers since they entered the sport in 1983. The most popular of those drivers have been Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip, Geoff Bodine, Bill Elliott, Kenny Schrader, Ricky Craven, Wally Dallenbach, Earnhardt and Kahne.
Harvick will race in his tenth Sprint Cup Series season next year. Through 345 starts in the Cup Series, Harvick has recorded 14 victories to go along with 72 top-five and 145 top-ten finishes.
This season has been a career-year on several aspects. His three victories so far this year makes it the second-most winningest year, trailing just his five-win season in 2006.
As far as average finishes go, however, his 8.6 average earned so far this season trumps any previous season. Entering the season, a 12.3 average finish in 2006 was his best.
“Throughout his career, Kevin has shown he can win at any level in NASCAR,” team-owner Richard Childress said. “Combining his talent with Budweiser’s NASCAR lineage and proven track record of innovative sponsorship activations makes this an exciting pairing for fans everywhere. RCR prides itself on its heritage and authenticity, so working with a brand like Budweiser, which has built their reputation on those same values, is a very special opportunity.”
Harvick brings in a 293-point lead to Bristol Motor Speedway after becoming the first driver to clinch a Chase berth following his win last weekend at Michigan.