U.S. Army Renews Partnerships with Don Schumacher Racing in NHRA, Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR
FORT KNOX, Dec. 1, 2010: The U.S. Army Accessions Command announced today that the U.S. Army has renewed its motorsports partnerships with Don Schumacher Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing for 2011. The U.S. Army will again sponsor Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel Dragster in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series, while Ryan Newman’s No. 39 Chevrolet Impala will sport the U.S. Army colors as the primary sponsor for 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races next season. The U.S. Army also is set to continue its associate sponsorship with NHRA Full Throttle driver Antron Brown in 2011, as well as its role as the official military partner of the NHRA.
“Ryan Newman, Tony Schumacher, Antron Brown and their race crews continue to demonstrate our Army values and exhibit the mental, emotional and physical strength which are the hallmark of our Army Strong Soldiers,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, Commanding General U.S. Army Accessions Command. “Their passion for the Army and their willingness to serve as strong advocates for the great men and women who serve our country is a tremendous asset. We are extremely pleased to continue our participation in the National Hot Rod Association and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and we will use the opportunities those relationships present to tell our Soldiers’ stories and connect with Americans all across our nation.”
Next season will mark the 11th straight in which Tony Schumacher, Don Schumacher Racing and the U.S. Army will together chase an NHRA Top Fuel world championship. Schumacher has already captured seven titles, including six in a row from 2004-2009, while piloting the 22-foot U.S. Army Top Fuel Dragster. During the 2010 campaign, he drove his way to victory lane five times, raised his NHRA record for career wins to 67, and finished the season in second place in the Top Fuel points standings.
The U.S. Army will serve as the primary sponsor on Schumacher’s Top Fuel dragster for all 22 NHRA national events and as an associate sponsor for Schumacher’s DSR teammate, Antron Brown. Brown, who piloted a U.S. Army Pro Stock Motorcycle for more than four seasons (2003-2007), rejoined the Army Racing team in 2010. He wrapped up the 2010 campaign with one win and a fourth place finish in the Top Fuel points standings. As part of the continuing partnership, he will again make personal appearances in key markets to assist the Army in reaching young Americans and their influencers. The Army will again return as the Official Military Partner of the NHRA and presenting sponsor of the NHRA Youth and Education Services Program (Y.E.S.) in 2011.
“It’s clearly been a great ride with the U.S. Army,” said Schumacher. “I’m ecstatic our relationship is going to continue. I’ve often said I would not want to drive for anyone else. There’s nothing more gratifying than to be representing of the Army Strong way of life. I definitely look forward to standing side-by-side with our brave Soldiers once again in 2011.”
The 2011 campaign will be the U.S. Army’s ninth as a primary car sponsor in NASCAR and its third teamed up with Newman and Stewart-Haas Racing. After qualifying for the Chase for the Championship in 2009, the No. 39 team just missed delivering the Soldiers’ car a spot in NASCAR’s playoffs this season. Newman, who owns 14 career Sprint Cup victories including the 2008 Daytona 500, registered his first win in the No. 39 car at Phoenix International Raceway in April, and also racked up a pole, four top-five and 14 top-10 finishes during the 2010 campaign.
“It’s been an awesome responsibility and honor to represent more than one million Army Strong Soldiers,” said Newman. “The Army branding on our Chevrolet and uniforms inspires every individual on the No. 39 team. I can’t think of having better teammates than our brave Soldiers who have dedicated their lives to preserve our freedom. There is nothing we want more than to drive the Soldiers’ car to victory lane.”
In addition to serving as the primary sponsor for 15 races, including the Daytona 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 Memorial Day weekend event at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway, the U.S. Army will serve as an associate sponsor on the No. 39 car for the remaining races. The U.S. Army also will serve as an associate sponsor on Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet.
“We’re honored to continue the strong partnership with the U.S. Army,” said Stewart, co-owner of Stewart-Haas Racing along with Oxnard, Calif.-based Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in the western world. “Together, we have accomplished great things both on and off the track, and shared some very impactful experiences with the Soldiers who defend our country. Those brave men and women are inspiring to all of us at Stewart-Haas Racing, and we’re proud to represent them again in 2011.”
The U.S. Army Motorsports Program began in September 2000 when Congress directed the Secretary of the Army to conduct a five-year motorsports outreach test. In 2003, building upon the success of the NHRA program, NASCAR was added. In addition to sponsorship of Newman and Schumacher, the programs also include an educational outreach to high school, vo-tech and junior college students focusing on career planning, goal setting, and career opportunities in motorsports and the Army. On-site interactive displays also allow prospects and their influencers to experience what it is like to be a Soldier and to interact with Soldiers.