The rumors swirling around late Tuesday became official early Wednesday morning when the Shell Oil Company made the official announcement they would be leaving Richard Childress Racing in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series and head to Penske Racing for 2011.
The new sponsorship will have Kurt Busch in the No. 22 car and will include as associate sponsorships for IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power and Ryan Briscoe.
It was later confirmed that Busch’s current sponsor, Miller Lite, will remain on the No. 2 Dodge with driver Brad Keselowski.
“Brad is one of the hottest young drivers in NASCAR and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the Miller Lite Racing family,” said Andy England, chief marketing officer at MillerCoors. “Rarely in this sport are you presented with the opportunity to build a relationship with a top-tier driver at the start of his career. We look forward to ‘tasting greatness’ with Brad and Penske Racing in the years ahead.”
The announcement is another blow to Childress Racing who lost another primary sponsor last year and was forced to shutter one of its four teams. Kevin Harvick, current driver of the No. 29, will become a free agent at the end of this season when his contract expires. Shell/Pennzoil had been a primary sponsor at Richard Childress Racing since 2007.
Pennzoil is returning to Penske as the pair first aligned as part of its IndyCar teams in 1983 and won the 1984 and 1988 Indianapolis 500 with driver Rick Mears., Kurt Busch won his 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship driving a Pennzoil-supported car for Roush-Fenway Racing.
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