One small part of the mid-season NASCAR Silly Season has fallen into place. Ryan Newman will continue driving in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet Caterpillar Chevrolet.
Richard Childress Racing (RCR) has announced that the deal has been finalized with Caterpillar Inc, in order to extend the long-running partnership.
Driving duties for the Caterpillar Chevrolet SS were put into Newman hands at the start of the 2014 season. Newman has logged 456 career starts in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and he has 17 wins with 93 top-five finishes.
The Indiana native carries the nickname "Rocket Man" in part because he has earned 51 pole awards. Newman has also qualified for the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup" five times.
The sponsorship announcement clears up any rumors that circulate during this time of the season concerning drivers, teams and primary sponsors. Although most people assumed that Newman and No. 31 car would continue to be sponsored by Caterpillar nothing is set in stone until the official announcements are made.
Richard Childress, President and CEO of Richard Childress Racing, said the renewal of the sponsorship with Newman behind the wheel of the car has roots on a very simple level. Not only are they a sponsor but he also uses “Cat” equipment on his own property.
"I am very pleased to announce the continuation of our partnership with Caterpillar and the No. 31 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," Childress said in an interview with Fox Sports. "I am very fortunate to have met and interacted with so many Cat dealers, customers and equipment operators through the past six years.
"I am proud to be associated with Caterpillar. As much as they love racing and our passion for it, I also share their love of Cat equipment by using it at my property.”
Even though Newman is relatively new to RCR the connection between the race team and Caterpillar dates back to 2009. The Caterpillar car has become instantly recognizable to many race fans.
Having the connection between a sponsor and fans is an important piece of any business plan. Childress thinks having Newman is a great plus to keeping that part of the equation working strong.
"I am also thrilled to have Ryan Newman behind the wheel of the Caterpillar Chevy,” Childress added. “Knowing we have a chance to win just about any race in which he competes.
"Ryan has proven himself to be a world-class driver who can also relate to Caterpillar's dealers and customers with his Indiana roots and down-home demeanor."
Childress knows that having a strong relationship with a sponsor is an important part of any race team and the numbers prove it.
RCR has earned more than 200 victories and 15 championships. This includes six in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with legendary driver Dale Earnhardt.
RCR was also the first organization to win championships in the Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
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