Tony Stewart got a new sponsor and everybody else got a sneak peak of the 2011 version of the Chevrolet Impala that will be used in NASCAR‘s Sprint Cup Series.
Stewart on Tuesday announced his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing team had signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with Mobil 1.
The deal is for 14 races as primary sponsor and associate sponsorship the remainder of the season on the cars of Stewart and his teammate, Ryan Newman.
"We’re excited we’ve been excited this deal and have a partner that is not only committed to brand marketing but at the same time, making our cars and our program better," Stewart said during a news conference at the Stewart-Hass Racing shop.
SHR had prepared two cars with different Mobil 1 paint schemes for the presentation and by chance - or not - both cars were designed with the new nose of the Chevy Impala, which is expected to be used next season.
Until Tuesday, there had been few opportunities to see what the new design - which is akin to the new Nationwide Series design - looked like in person.
"We’ve actually done only our research and development aero cars. These were done for show car purposes and for this deal today," said Bobby Hutchens, SHR’s director of competition.
"I think it looks really neat. It’s a lot like the Nationwide Series car. It’s a little different from an aerodynamic balance standpoint and that’s what we are working on right now."
Stewart’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, said he expects NASCAR to release the official production parts to the suppliers and teams next week, but SHR decided to build their own versions for the time being.
"These are all first-off fiberglass prototype pieces. We have had some time in the wind tunnel with it and we’re starting to learn a few areas we can tweak on.
"We got a little head start just so we have some idea what to expect when the rules come out."
Office Depot will continue to serve as primary sponsor for the other Cup races on Stewart’s No. 14 next season.