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Stewart plugs sponsorship hole for Newman

Stewart-Haas Racing has found a large block of the additional sponsorship funding it needs for Ryan Newman's #39 car following the withdrawal of the US Army from the sport.
Tony Stewart looked relieved on Tuesday as he was able to confirm that a large part of the hole in sponsorship for Ryan Newman's #39 car in 2013 had been plugged thanks to an increased commitment from existing backer Quicken Loans.

"It takes a lot of the pressure off of ensuring whether or not we're going to have this car on the track full-time next year," said team co-owner Stewart at the announcement. "It will be on the track full-time."

Newman's 2012 Cup season had been primarily funded by sponsorship from the US Army, but it decided to pull the plug on its involvement with NASCAR over the summer when there was intense scrutiny in Congress of public funds being used in this fashion rather than going directly on military expenditure.

That left Stewart-Haas Racing scrambling to find new sponsors, made harder when they were further rocked by the decision of the main sponsor of Stewart's #14 car, Office Depot, to "significantly curtail our relationship" with the team because of the current economic downturn in the US.

While Stewart's own sponsorship backing for 2013 is still uncertain, he was at least able to announce this week that Quicken Loans had doubled their backing of Newman's car. From being a nine-race sponsor in 2012, the company would back Newman for 18 of the 36 Cup races in 2013 and in addition also act as an associate sponsor for the other races where they were not emblazoned on the car livery.

"We just felt it was a great partnership," said Jay Farner, president and chief marketing officer of Quicken Loans. "How do we take what we've learned and do more? We've decided to double down."

"It's a huge first step in filling a couple of large voids," said Stewart. "We have a little bit of inventory to sell on Ryan's car, but we're really close," he added: "On Ryan's car, this is the best shape we've been in."

Newman - whose contract for 2013 was renewed last month despite the uncertainty on the sponsorship front - was certainly relieved by this week's news. "It's a big first step in the right direction for me from a long-term contract standpoint," he said. "It's nice to have a direction of who your partners are going to be."

As for the situation with his own car, team owner-driver Stewart was hoping that this week's news would help them clinch deals for the #14 as well. "Hopefully we'll have a domino effect with this, and get the rest of the inventory taken care of so we can worry about building fast race cars and getting results for them," he said.

"We feel like we have a couple of leads that hopefully will help us get this done before the end of the year," he said. "So I'm excited that we'll hopefully have that taken care of before the season actually ends."

Stewart-Haas expects to expand to a three-car operation in 2013, with the sponsorship for Danica Patrick already in place thanks to her long-term relationship with the GoDaddy.com internet services company.



Related Pictures

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Tony Stewart with Danica Patrick at a press conference at Daytona International Speedway. [Photo credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Danica Patrick unveils her #10 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet for the 2012 season with team owner Tony Stewart following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. [Picture Credit: NASCAR Media]
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Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 21, 2012 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
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Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, July 27, 2014 the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, kisses the Brick after his win Sunday, July 27, 2014 of the Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Gordon, who leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings, has won at the Brickyard a record 5 times, the first one in 1994. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates by kissing the bricks after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, races the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents The John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevrolet Nationwide Series car driven by Ty Dillon. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Tony Stewart, driver of the #14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS, qualified sixth fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, qualified fourth fastest Saturday, July 26, 2014 for Sunday`s Brickyard 400 Nascar Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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