By admin | December 16, 2011
By Richard Allen
Itâ€™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 manufacturerâ€™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 Jayski.com), RFR may be about to ink a deal with electronics chain store Best Buy. Thatâ€™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 teamâ€™s gain could be another Ford teamâ€™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 driverâ€™s contract with the organization.
Another recent rumor had it that recently unemployed Kurt Busch might find his way into the driverâ€™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 Roushâ€™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, RPMâ€™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 driverâ€™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 â€˜Days of our Ford Livesâ€™.
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