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Roush Fenway loses key sponsor

Roush Fenway recently managed to sign a three-year renewal of 3M's sponsorship of the #16 car of Greg Biffle in April. 3M have been involved with Roush Fenway Racing in NASCAR since 2005, originally with their 'Post-It' brand, and hit victory lane with the team for the first time just five weeks into their association. However, the most recent renewal was said to be for fewer races per season from 2012, reducing 3M's overall investment into Roush Fenway - although exact terms of the contract are inevitably commercially confidential.

The team also has to worry about renewing the backing of another major backer, the international shipping company UPS that is the primary sponsor of the team's #6 driven by David Ragan, which is also set to expire at the end of the current season.

And the team also have to negotiate with medical insurer Aflac who are the main sponsors of Carl Edwards' #99 car. Despite being the championship leader, the sponsorship backing for Edwards has been thought to be particularly soft and at risk in the current depressed economy, and has led to rumours that Edwards might be drawn to sign for Joe Gibbs Racing to drive the #20 car, which comes with one of NASCAR's most secure sponsorship backing arrangements with The Home Depot.

The Home Depot is particularly keen to have a car that can compete with that of their arch business rivals Lowe's, which sponsors the #48 car of Jimmie Johnson that has won the Cup championship for the last five consecutive years: bringing in the championship leader (and current favourite for the 2011 championship) Carl Edwards to race the #20 at JGR under their brand would be a particularly effective way for The Home Depot to achieve this.

With the clock ticking to re-sign UPS, find the money to retain Carl Edwards and now to replace Crown Royal, the business and financial pressure is definitely on Roush Fenway.

As well as the sponsorship of the #17 car, Diageo also has a sponsorship deal with NASCAR itself and the company confirmed that this too is to end after the current season. However they were keen to stress the continuation of the popular 'Your Name Here' program.

Crown Royal said that this had "provided NASCAR fans with an experience that is unrivalled in sports and in recent years has shed light on some of the remarkable military servicemen and servicewomen who proudly serve our country," adding: "We look forward to elevating this program as well as continuing our presence in the sport through an experience that our fans have grown to love."

However, it's not certain whether the 'Your Name Here' event will continue to be held at Richmond International Raceway or whether it will switch to a different venue or calendar slot.

This year's winner of the 'Your Name Here' program was United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Matthew Hansen and also his twin brother Daniel who had been killed in action two years previously. At the end of the evening, the 'Your Name Here' race this year therefore awarded the Crown Royal Presents the Matthew & Daniel Hansen 400 trophy.




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Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, leads the field through the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, wins the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Subway Toyota, places the winner`s decal on his car after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 DeWalt Toyota, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 21, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Daniel Suarez, driver of the #18 ARRIS Toyota, takes the green flag to start the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Roush Performance Products Ford, leads Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, during the NASCAR XFinity Series 3M 250 at Iowa Speedway on May 17, 2015 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

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