Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Most Ridiculous Item Today

Story here:

Harvick's helmet fuels backlash
Jim Utter

It appears there was something that failed NASCAR's post-raceinspection after Sunday's Daytona 500 -- the uniform and helmet worn byrace winner Kevin Harvick.

Responding to complaints from Sunoco, the official fuel supplier ofNASCAR, the sanctioning body has been in discussions with Harvick'sRichard Childress Racing team the past several days to address Sunoco'sconcerns over the branding of Shell-Pennzoil's sponsorship on Harvick'suniform and helmet.

In response to those complaints, Harvick can no longer wear thedriver's helmet used in Sunday's race -- which featured a prominentShell logo -- and his uniform had to be redone to include lessprominent Shell logos, multiple sources confirmed.

Before Sunday's Daytona 500, team officials confirmed Harvick wasasked by NASCAR if he would wear a jacket over his uniform duringDaytona 500 introductions, which he agreed to do.

During Speedweeks, officials with Sunoco logged several complaintswith NASCAR regarding the Shell logos on Harvick's helmet and uniform.They peaked when Harvick's victories in Saturday's Busch race andSunday's Daytona 500 produced several newspaper headlines utilizing theShell name and many photographs of the Shell logos.

Sunoco signed a 10-year deal in 2003 to become the official fuelsupplier for all three of NASCAR's national series -- Nextel Cup, Buschand Trucks.

As part of the deal, no new fuel suppliers are allowed to sponsorNASCAR teams, NASCAR officials said. Shell-Pennzoil was allowed to joinRCR and Harvick's No. 29 Chevrolet this season because the sponsorshipwas of its automotive lubricants.

Sunoco's complaints are based on the extent Shell-Pennzoil'sbranding is seen as promoting its gas product over its automobilelubricants.

"In exchange for providing a quality product for all three series,Sunoco was granted exclusivity in the fuel category at the track,"NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said.

"We're always trying to work with our sponsors and teams to navigatethrough any challenges, especially the automotive lubricant categorywhich is closely aligned with fuel."

A message seeking comment from Sunoco's media contact, Jerry Davis, remained unreturned late Wednesday.

Until a new helmet can be designed, Harvick is expected to wear thehelmet he uses in Busch Series races, sponsored by another company.Harvick's new uniform should be ready for this weekend's race atCalifornia, team officials said.

My thoughts:

ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?  Sometimes, I think NASCAR hates money.  This is nothing except Sunoco having a hissy fit about a more successful company sponsoring an elite team.  My opinion on sponsorships is well-known by now - the more, the better, no matter if it is "competition" or not.  This is why I hate what Nextel is trying to do to AT&T with the Cingular name.  Seriously, it's the same money coming in with a different name.  Why not let what the company wishes to put on the car be allowed?  With as much money as these companies are spending to have their names on these cars they need some more free reign instead of NASCAR playing dictator with what is allowed and what isn't. 

1 comment:

thehestercuti0n said...

This is just another example of how the Brian France era of NASCAR will be.