Diaego is stepping out of NASCAR next season and off the sides of the #17 Ford Fusion driven by 2003 Series Champion Matt Kenseth. This will end the two year stint that saw Crown Royal and Jeremiah Weed featured on the car.
It will also end a long relationship between Roush Fenway racing that began when Kurt Busch was still with the organization in 2003 and extended to a four year span with Jamie McMurray.
Diaego says while they are scaling back their involvement in NASCAR they still plan to sponsor the ‘your name here’ race which has typically been held at Richmond. Thus far no plans for 2012 are in place but the track is hopeful that a agreement can be made.
Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark will have a busy rest of the year as he attempts to resign Carl Edwards and piece together sponsorship deals for the #99, #17 and #6 rides for 2012. He released the following statement courtesy of NASCAR.com
“It’s unfortunate that they will not be able to continue to be a part of our organization. Fortunately, our race programs are operating at a higher level than ever. The No. 17 is an attractive, championship-winning program with a storied history and Matt Kenseth an elite driver. We have already opened the door for discussions and are currently in the process of speaking with companies interested in taking over the program for next season and beyond.”
Kenseth has won 2 races this year. In addition to Crown Royal he has also been sponsored by Affliction clothing and Wiley-X sunglasses this year. Last year he also featured Valvoline.
It was also announced that in addition to this weekend at Daytona, that Affliction clothing would also sponsor the July 17th event at New Hampshire.
Prior to running the Crown Royal colors, he had been sponsored by DeWalt for 10 years dating back to his time in the Nationwide Series. That sponsorship ended after the 2009 season after Stanley and Black and Decker merged. Currently they sponsor the #9 Ford of Marcos Ambrose.
I DO NOT CARE WHO KENSETH DRIVES FOR AS LONG AS HE DRIVES. HE HAS BEEN MY FAVORITE DRIVER SINCE DAY 1. I EVEN HAVE THE NUMBER 17 ON MY CAR!! B.J.
I HOPE “CARHARDT” OR ANOTHER FINE SPONSOR PICKS MATT UP.HE IS AN AWESOME DRIVER AND THE KILLER BEES HAVE STEPPED IT UP THIS YEAR.I REALLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE WAY LARGE BUISNESSES LOOK AT SPONSORSHIPS,BUT WHEN I THINK OF THE WAY HE RACES I THINK OF SPONSORS LIKE “ROCKY” AND “PSE”.MAYBE IT’S ME BUT I SEE THE #17 CAR AS A REAL PEOPLE CAR AND MATT AS A REAL PEOPLE DRIVER.I HOPE A “REAL PEOPLE SPONSOR” STEPS UP TO THE PLATE. YOU GO MATT!
Why would DEWALT drop a “WINNER” like Matt Kenseth, and go with a driver who yet (but probably will) hasn’t made his stride?