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Stewart-Haas Racing Shuffle: Sponsorship Shifts and 2024 Challenges

Stewart-Haas Racing Shuffle: As most American companies gear down during December holidays, the NASCAR industry traditionally experiences a slowdown as well. Amid some postseason testing and the unveiling of NASCAR’s new production center, the pace has generally simmered down. However, one team appears to be keeping the pedal to the metal, especially in their sponsorship division.

Stewart-Haas Racing had an unremarkable 2023 NASCAR Cup season, with none of their four cars clinching a win, and only Kevin Harvick’s car making it into the playoffs. Harvick, after 22 years in the racing pinnacle, announced his retirement in January, initiating a season-long tour of heartfelt moments celebrating his illustrious career. The California native will transition to the Fox Sports booth in 2024.

Amidst the fanfare honoring Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing grapples with a harsh reality overshadowed by the celebrations: as Josh Berry gears up to helm the No. 4 Ford formerly driven by Harvick in 2024, a couple of Harvick’s sponsors have shifted alliances.

In July, long-time sponsor Anheuser-Busch, having been with Harvick since his tenure with Richard Childress Racing before moving to Stewart-Haas in 2014, announced their move to Ross Chastain and Trackhouse Racing for 2024.

This week, another veteran sponsor, Hunt Brothers Pizza, a loyal supporter of Stewart-Haas Racing since 2008, revealed their shift to Team Penske. Having initially partnered with Harvick in 2010, the company will now back Penske’s driver Joey Logano in 2024.

Harvick’s retirement seemingly sparked a “Kevin Harvick” effect, leading sponsors to explore new avenues to allocate their resources.

“NASCAR remains popular among convenience store customers,” stated Scott Hunt, CEO of Hunt Brothers Pizza in the Penske announcement. “We look forward to engaging fans and providing further marketing value for our convenience store partners in the coming years.”

However, amidst these shifts, another long-term sponsor is bidding adieu to NASCAR.

Aric Almirola, part of Stewart-Haas Racing since 2018, announced his step back from full-time competition in 2024. Smithfield Foods, Almirola’s sponsor since his Cup debut in 2012, followed him to Stewart-Haas Racing, but unlike Anheuser-Busch, Smithfield has decided to terminate their NASCAR involvement following Almirola’s departure, citing “the time has come to end our NASCAR partnership.”

Stewart-Haas Racing Shuffle (2)

While the successor to Almirola’s seat remains unannounced, Noah Gragson is a frontrunner for the position.

The exit of two seasoned drivers, along with their sponsorships, has left significant gaps for the team in the upcoming 2024 season. Yet, these aren’t the sole challenges facing the organization.

SHR co-owner Tony Stewart will be replacing his wife in the NHRA as the couple plans to start a family, marking his ascent to the upper echelons of the NHRA. Additionally, the team’s Ford contract extends through the conclusion of the 2024 NASCAR season. With just four wins among its drivers since 2021, coupled with lackluster 2023 season performance, the team might explore shifting manufacturers, potentially considering Toyota or reverting to Chevrolet, the brand they partnered with from 2009 to 2016.

Typically, potential sponsorship negotiations aren’t disclosed publicly, so forthcoming announcements may be in the pipeline. However, Harvick and Almirola’s departures, along with their sponsorships, and the dearth of on-track achievements imply that while other teams unwind during the holidays, Stewart-Haas Racing will be operating at full tilt. For them, forging ahead at full throttle remains imperative to enhance on-track performance and secure the necessary sponsorships.

ALSO READ: Stewart-Haas Racing New Leaders: Briscoe and Preece Ready for the Challenge

Our Reader’s Queries

Who will drive for Stewart-Haas in 2024?

Stewart-Haas Racing is set to make some major moves in its NASCAR Cup Series program come 2024. The team will bid farewell to Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola, with Josh Berry and Noah Gragson stepping in to take their places. Berry will take over the No. 4 car, while Gragson will be behind the wheel of the No. 10 car. These changes are sure to shake things up and bring a fresh perspective to the team.

Who will be driving for Stewart-Haas in 2023?

Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) has announced that Ryan Preece, the 32-year-old racer from Berlin, Connecticut, has been promoted from his reserve driver role to the NASCAR Cup Series. Preece will be driving the team’s No. 41 Ford Mustang starting in 2023. This move is a testament to Preece’s talent and dedication to the sport, and we look forward to seeing him excel on the track.

Who left Stewart-Haas Racing?

In 2018, Aric Almirola became a part of Stewart-Haas Racing, marking his return to the Cup series after six years. Recently, he revealed that he will be taking a break from full-time racing in 2024. This decision was made after careful consideration and a year of delay.

What is Tony Stewart’s net worth 2023?

Tony Stewart, a prominent name in American racing, has had an impressive career filled with notable achievements. His net worth of $105 million in 2023 is a testament to his success as a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion and co-owner of the esteemed Stewart-Haas Racing team.

Khushal Bhatia
Khushal Bhatiahttps://slicksandsticks.com/
Khushal Bhatia, a distinguished BA (Hons) English graduate from St. Stephen College (University of Delhi) and a holder of a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (English) from IIMC Delhi, is an accomplished journalist. Currently affiliated with Slicksandsticks.com, Khushal is an expert in covering a range of sports topics with a specialization in motorsports, particularly NASCAR. His insightful articles explore the nuances of the sporting world, providing readers with comprehensive analysis and the latest updates. With a commitment to unbiased reporting, Khushal's expertise and authoritative voice make him a reliable source for sports enthusiasts.
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