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« Odds are it will be either Stewart or Vickers will be on pole in Indy | Main | Indy: Great tradition just not great racing »

DeWalt leaving Kenseth likely spells the end for Ragan

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.

Topics: Articles |

One Response to “DeWalt leaving Kenseth likely spells the end for Ragan”

  1. Tom Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    Matt will stay in the 17 with UPS as the sponsor. He will take them to Victory Lane. There are too many personal milestones and sentiment for him to change his number. I can bet you he would NEVER drive the 6. People at RoushFenway may respect Mark Martin, but you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who LIKES him.
    One team is supposed to be moved down to Yates to replace Labonte and the Ask.com #96. It will NOT be the #6. Where Yates will find the money to run a second team is not clear. Personally, if I had to have two teams at Yates I would get Travis Kvapil back and put him in the 28. He won a lot of races in the truck series, and I’d be willing to be that if he were at Hendrick, he’d be winning Cup races. Look at Mark Martin.
    Speaking of which, if I were Jack I would put the #6 on the shelf. Mark Martin has a bad habit of saying really stupid things, and like I said I don’t think he has a real friend at RoushFenway.