By admin | July 23, 2009
By Richard Allen
It has been announced that DeWalt Tools will not return in 2010 as the primary sponsor on the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford driven by Matt Kenseth. That is not a good sign for Kenseth’s fellow RFR driver, David Ragan.
Ragan currently drives the #6 Ford for RFR with full sponsorship from UPS. However, he is not signed with the organization beyond this season. UPS, on the other hand, just began a multi-year deal with RFR in 2009.
Add to all of this that, RFR has to cut down from its current five teams to four before the beginning of the 2010 season.
The math in this problem is simple, especially in an economy that makes it less than likely a new sponsor will be brought in. One car, the #17, needs a sponsor. That car’s championship caliber, Daytona 500 winning driver is signed to a long term deal. Another car, the #6, has a sponsor. That car’s driver, who has never won a Sprint Cup race, has a contract that is about to expire.
I am a history teacher yet I can do the math on that one. Sounds like Mr. Ragan had better start sending out some feelers.
The #6 has been the flagship of RFR since Jack Roush started the company with driver Mark Martin in 1988. What would become of that number will remain to be seen after this NASCAR mandated cutback. Likely one of the other drivers, maybe even Kenseth, would use the number. After all, that would create the need for all of his fans to buy new apparel which would put more money into the RFR treasury.
DeWalt Tools along with Kenseth and RFR have proven to be one of the more successful sponsor/driver/owner relationships in recent years. Together they have won 18 races, including the Daytona 500 and Coca-Cola 600 as well as the 2003 Winston (Sprint) Cup championship.
In 2010, Kenseth will begin a new relationship with another company. My guess is that UPS will be that company.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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