KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (AP) — Stewart-Haas Racing announced some much-needed sponsorship Tuesday when Quicken Loans said it will double its commitment to Ryan Newman.
Quicken Loans, a new sponsor in NASCAR this year and the primary backer for nine races with Newman, will return for 18 races next year.
The extension comes as team co-owner Tony Stewart is searching for a good chunk of funding for his three-car organization. The U.S. Army has said it won't be back as primary sponsor for Newman, and Office Depot is leaving as a co-primary for Stewart — which opens up a hole of 22 races for Stewart.
Stewart admitted Tuesday that he's "definitely" been worried.
"We've got a couple of big holes on the sponsorship side, so (Quicken Loans) definitely fills a big part of that and definitely helps us," Stewart said. "Takes a lot of the pressure off of ensuring whether or not we will have this car on the track full time next year. It will be on the track full time."
SHR is apparently close to announcing a sponsorship agreement with Bass Pro Shops, maybe as soon as this weekend at Talladega. The sponsor is expecting to partner with Stewart, the three-time NASCAR champion.
Stewart thinks he'll be in good shape with Newman's No. 39 car, which could fill the remaining open 18 races with existing sponsors. SHR has partnerships with Nabisco, Outback Steakhouse, Tornados, Wix, and co-owner Gene Haas' company, Haas Automation.
"We've got a number of them already re-signed and still under contract," Stewart said. "This gets us pretty close to having that inventory sold. This was a big, big void filled by what we're losing with U.S. Army."
SHR is fielding three cars next season, and Danica Patrick's entry is set on sponsorship from Go Daddy.