In the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, the competition for sponsor dollars is every bit as intense as the competition on the track. And two of the sport’s top teams — Hendrick Motorsports and Team Penske — made significant sponsor moves this week.
Liberty University, the world’s largest Christian university, will be the primary sponsor of William Byron and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for 12 Cup races in 2018 and ’19. Byron will run for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors next year.
“Liberty is a new partner for us, and we see a tremendous opportunity to help promote their academic programs,” said team owner and chairman of Hendrick Automotive Group Rick Hendrick in a statement. “On the retail side, we’ve worked with their automotive dealership management program, which is already one of the best in the country. I’ve visited campus and we’ve brought in their students for internships. It’s very impressive to see the level of talent and integrity in these young people. William will continue to be a terrific representative for the school, and we look forward to building a great relationship.”
Team Penske, meanwhile, is adding a third car for Ryan Blaney next year to team with Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano.
Menards, a privately held, Wisconsin-based chain of more than 300 retail home improvement stores, will be Blaney’s primary sponsor for 14 races next year. Menards will also sponsor the Wood Brothers Racing No. 21, where it will be Paul Menard’s primary sponsor for 22 races in 2018.
And Menards remains a sponsor of Team Penske’s Verizon IndyCar Series open-wheel teams.
“Having a company like Menards, and a businessman like John Menard, be a part of the growth with the No. 12 team is terrific for our organization,” said Roger Penske in a statement. “Menards has a winning tradition in motorsports and Team Penske looks forward to adding to that legacy. We have enjoyed a productive relationship with Menards through our IndyCar program, and they were a key part of our championship effort last season. We are excited about the opportunity to grow with them in NASCAR beginning next season.”
Expect additional sponsorship details about both cars at a later date.