Shell has signed a multi-year deal to sponsor Penske Racing both in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series, as well as in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
The Shell and Pennzoil logos will adorn the No. 22 Sprint Cup machine of 2004 series champion Kurt Busch from next year as his main sponsor, switching over from Richard Childress Racing, where they currently feature on the No. 29 car of Kevin Harvick. The oil company will be Penske's official fuel and motor oil supplier starting in 2011, becoming also an associate sponsor of the team's IndyCar effort with drivers Helio Castroneves, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power. Power is currently leading the championship, ahead of his Brazilian teammate.
The announcement comes in line with a renewal for Busch, whose contract with the team was up at the end of the season. Miller Lite, his current sponsor, will stay in the No. 2 Penske Dodge, which will be driven by teammate Brad Keselowski next year.
Mobil had backed the team for many years, and is currently the main sponsor for former IndyCar champion Sam Hornish Jr., who drives the No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge in the Sprint Cup series. Following today's announcement, however, the company is expected to move on, having announced a technical partnership with Toyota Racing Development at the end of last year. Hornish may still end up driving for Penske in 2011, moving to the No. 12 car with a different sponsor, but the team has yet to announce the lineup for its third car.
For the second year in succession, RCR loses one of its main sponsors, having Jack Daniels depart last year. Harvick's contract with the team expires at the end of the season, and his continuity with RCR is still up in the air.