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Best Buy to Kenseth rumor playing out like a soap opera in the Ford camp

By admin | December 16, 2011

By Richard Allen


It’s certainly no secret that sponsorship for NASCAR teams is hard to come by during these strained economic times. And if rumors are to be believed, the situation has become so desperate within team Ford that one car owner may be about to nab a sponsor from another of the manufacturer’s stable.

Hard to believe as it may seem, the 2003 Sprint Cup champion who also won three races, three poles and finished fourth in the final standings last season has no primary sponsor going into 2012. However, that may be about to change for Matt Kenseth and his #17 Roush Fenway Racing team.

According to sources close to the situation(from, RFR may be about to ink a deal with electronics chain store Best Buy. That’s good news for the Ford team camp, right?

The problem with RFR landing Best Buy is that it means another Ford team would be losing a primary sponsor. That company has previously placed its name on the side of the famed #43 car of Richard Petty Motorsports for driver A.J. Allmendinger. So, one Ford team’s gain could be another Ford team’s loss.

Like sands through the hourglass.

Roush Fenway has committed itself to running Kenseth and his team for the full season whether sponsorship is found or not. Reportedly, 2012 is the final year of the driver’s contract with the organization.

Another recent rumor had it that recently unemployed Kurt Busch might find his way into the driver’s seat of the #43 car. Perhaps this was an attempt by RPM to secure further sponsorship from Best Buy with a championship caliber driver in their car.

There are a number of secondary issues at work here that involve more than just one team trying to land a sponsor that once backed another team. Roush Fenway Racing, because of co-owner Jack Roush’s close ties to the Ford Motor Company, serves as the primary supplier for the other Ford teams. RPM receives chassis and other components from that shop. Further, RPM’s engines come from Roush Yates Engines, also co-owned by Jack Roush.

And more, Roush once fired Kurt Busch from his team after a series of internal conflicts and the driver’s announcement that he was leaving for Penske Racing. It would seem likely that Roush would have at least some say as to whether Busch could be hired by a team his organization is so heavily involved with on the supply side. So, he seemingly could block RPM from hiring a driver that might encourage Best Buy to stay.

All in all, it sounds as if Ford has somewhat of an internal soap opera playing out behind the scenes as two of its teams desperately seek the favors of one sponsor. Tune in next week(or sometime soon) for the thrilling conclusion of ‘Days of our Ford Lives’.

Topics: Articles |

10 Responses to “Best Buy to Kenseth rumor playing out like a soap opera in the Ford camp”

  1. Russ Says:
    December 16th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    This once again raises the issue of the validity of the “satellite teams”. Are they really separate entities, or, as some suspect, merely a ruse to get around the four car per team limit.

    We shall see if the death march of teams chasing sponsors who are more and more reluctant to spend the money they are being asked for continues.

    Best Buy itself, is under increasing pressure from Amazon and its like. So they may want more assurance that its money is going to good use.

  2. Greg Says:
    December 16th, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    BEST BUY has jumped ship from 1 race team to another more times than a normal sponsor.

  3. Sue Rarick Says:
    December 16th, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    And how long will Petty still be a Ford team if this comes to pass? Roush may be painting himself into a Penske corner. They being the only team using Ford engines. Well there will always be the Wood brothers, but they seem to be content being a part time team. Again the Penske comparison with Robby Gordon using Dodge engines and being a part time team at present.

    This may be a situation of where you win the battle but lose the war.

  4. Russ Says:
    December 16th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    How many Ford’s aren’t using Roush engines and chassis? None that I know of, and its been that way for several years. In fact I believe Ford’s decision to make Roush their number one guy is why a team out of Dawsonville Ga. left years ago.

  5. Jim Says:
    December 17th, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Best Buy has no class as a retailer. They would be a good fit for Kurt Busch, but I don’t want to see the Dinger lose any sponsorship unless they have a replacement established.

  6. Offkilter Says:
    December 17th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Kenseth is a stand up guy and past champion. Aside from that, he is made of wood with a personality about as colorful as the paint in a funeral home. He has run mid-pack for a long time until this year and still had trouble closing the deal in a race or two with the best car. That being said, i can see why they are having trouble getting a major money sponsor.

  7. Bobby Says:
    December 18th, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    If Roush takes BB from RPM. I hope RPM will go back to Dodge.Leave Jack in the box holding the bag.I hope this doesn’t happem. But the king has always had problems holding onto sponsors for years now.They have there best year in many years an this comes up. Makes me sick. So BB go onto Roush, I’ll put buying my new computrer on hold as few days to see hoe this shakes out. Go to Jack in the box an bet your ass I’ll buy it elswhere.

  8. Mr. Tony Geinzer Says:
    December 18th, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    The King can’t hold on to sponsors even with New York Yes Men who winged LeBron’s Decision and what is sadder, if Petty has to go back to Dodge, it would be a Penske 2nd Team, not Roush and I feel bad for the King, which his folks know Stock Cars, but, I feel Kurt Busch’s Salary would be hard to swallow.

  9. Kenny Powers Says:
    December 19th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Sounds like some people want Petty to leave Ford because they dont like Ford. Well. Tough Shi%!

  10. Greg Says:
    December 20th, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Well its a DONE DEAL , Best Buy going to the #17 and the #99 ( Carl gets a piece of EVERYTHING ) and PETTY is left Hi and Dry.