INDIANAPOLIS – In a day and age where sponsorships are hard to find, especially in racing, Tuesday was a great day on that front through. Five different teams, four NASCAR and one INDYCAR, announced sponsorship deals for either an upcoming race or races in the future.
First, Roush/Fenway Racing announced that they have solidified their partnership of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and the No. 17 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team through 2021. Fastenal will continue to serve as the anchor partner of the No. 17 and will increase its number of primary races with Stenhouse and the team. SunnyD and Fifth Third Bank will each continue to play a major role with the team, serving as primary partners with the No. 17 in multiple events over the next four seasons.
“We are pleased to announce that each of our three primary partners on the No. 17 have signed on with the program through the 2021 season, with Fastenal continuing as the anchor and increasing their number of races,” said Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark. “We’re extremely proud of our relationships with Fastenal, Fifth Third Bank and SunnyD, both personally and professionally, and we’ve been fortunate to work with each to provide on-track performance and solid marketing solutions based on their varied goals and objectives.
“Strong partners are the foundation to the success of any NASCAR team and we believe we have the best in the sport,” added Newmark. “Every employee of Roush Fenway recognizes what these companies do for us, on and off the track, and we’re honored to have all three of these top-level brands committed to our program for many years to come.”
Off the strength of dramatic wins at Talladega and Daytona, Stenhouse raced his way into the 2017 NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, competing for the Cup championship and advancing to the round of 12. The two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion and former Cup rookie of the year, who finished fourth this weekend at Bristol after contending for the win late in the race, has shown great promise, and stands poised as one of the rising stars in the sport.
Fastenal first joined Roush Fenway Racing in 2010 as the primary partner of the No. 60 Xfinity Series team and driver Carl Edwards, who went on to win the championship that season. They moved to NASCAR Cup racing with Edwards in 2012 before teaming with Stenhouse Jr. in 2015 where they have since served as the anchor partner on the No. 17.
Fifth Third Bank came on board with Roush Fenway in 2012 as a primary partner with Matt Kenseth, before teaming with Stenhouse in 2013. They were featured as the primary for Stenhouse’s first Cup Series win last season at Talladega. As luck would have it, they were also on the hood when he took the checkered flag last July in Daytona for his second career Cup win.
SunnyD burst onto the scene as a primary for the No. 17 in 2016 with an award-winning campaign that Roush Fenway helped launched via social and traditional media. That campaign along with the 2017 “Race with Ricky” promotion earned recognition by the prestigious MarCom Awards. As SunnyD enters their third year on the car, the bar is set for another successful season on and off the track.
Then, the Wood Brothers revealed that Quaker State will be the primary sponsor of Paul Menard’s No. 21 Ford for this weekend’s race at the Richmond Raceway. On top of that, StarCom announced that Landon Cassill and StarCom Fiber will return for each other this weekend at Richmond too.
On top of that, Hendrick Motorsports announced today that Siemens PLM Software have extended their longstanding technical partnership through the 2024 racing season. One of NASCAR’s most successful teams with a record 15 national series owner’s titles, Hendrick Motorsports began using software in its engine engineering department in the early 1990s and has partnered with Siemens PLM Software since 1997. Using Siemens PLM Software’s NX™ software, Simcenter™ software and Teamcenter® software for its product development needs, Hendrick Motorsports leverages the digital twin to gain a competitive edge every week, long before the drivers are even on the track.
“If we can take advantage of a change more quickly or develop and implement new ideas faster than our competition, it can result in winning races,” said Tad Merriman, Hendrick Motorsports engine engineering manager. “Using Siemens’ PLM Software provides a competitive advantage for our entire organization.”
Hendrick Motorsports leverages NX software, Siemens PLM Software’s comprehensive digital product development solution, to design and optimize performance of its race cars. The design and analysis tools in NX allow team engineers to virtually build and test parts that will help maximize horsepower and performance on the track each weekend.
Teamcenter, the world’s most widely used digital lifecycle management solution, creates a digital backbone to help Hendrick Motorsports manage the entire product lifecycle for its racing operations, helping to make sure that designs meet requirements and providing the engineers and other personnel with “anywhere, anytime” access to information. In addition to CAD, CAM and CAE information, a wide variety of data, including track performance data and build sheets, are organized and linked in a way that makes sense to everyone in the organization. Using this digital twin, data is quickly and easily accessible, helping to provide consistency and efficiency across the entire team.
“The Hendrick Motorsports team is a longstanding example of just how effective the digital twin can be, particularly in a fast-paced environment such as racing,” said Del Costy, senior vice president and managing director, Americas, Siemens PLM Software. “This extension of our partnership is a testament to how well our organizations have worked together over the years, as is the great success the Hendrick team has achieved. We look forward to what can be accomplished over the next seven years.”
Hendrick Motorsports also leverages the Simcenter portfolio to optimize performance for everything from individual parts to the behavior of the entire car. This includes evaluating new components and systems, optimizing designs before release, performing forensic failure analysis and decoding the mechanics of a failure that has occurred, as well as understanding generally accepted performance rules.
“What we do is like having a new product introduction every week for 38 weeks,” said Jim Wall, Hendrick Motorsports engine program director. “You have to reinvent yourself every single week, understanding the advantage is getting your ideas to the racetrack before someone else does. In the last decade, we have moved forward with a more optimal design from the concept stage. We are using finite element analysis as an upfront tool for the design so we don’t have to break the part before we improve it. We want to engineer components that allow our teams to showcase their talents to the best of their abilities.”
On the Verizon IndyCar Series side, Andretti Autosport announced a deal with Kerauno to sponsor both Marco Andretti and Alexander Rossi for their upcoming race weekend at the Barber Motorsports Park.
The communications workflow software company has been a long-time partner of the race-winning team through its sister company Axia Technology Partners, which has provided Andretti Autosport with voice and managed networks services for six years.
“We’ve had a strong relationship with AxiaTP for many years, and we’re excited to grow and expand our partnership through Kerauno,” said Andretti Autosport CEO Michael Andretti. “The Kerauno workflow solutions are being integrated into the Andretti Autosport offices, and have made a valuable impact in building efficiencies in our everyday processes. We’re looking forward to showcasing the lightning bolt on the 27 and 98 cars this weekend.”
Since launching as a standalone software business earlier this year, Kerauno is already experiencing significant momentum in both license and revenue growth. The company looks to double company headcount by year’s end and is hoping to leverage its partnership with Andretti Autosport’s Military to Motorsports program, which helps former active duty military personnel find meaningful careers in growth industries like motor sports, communications and technology.
“One of our initiatives for 2018 was to raise the general brand awareness of Kerauno and after several meetings with Andretti we felt there was no better place to start. Aligning with two high caliber drivers, a tremendous team and a program that pairs veterans with the workforce made for an easy decision”, said Kerauno CEO Josh Ross.