KANNAPOLIS, N.C. (Jan. 7, 2010) – Longtime NASCAR sponsor Kraft Foods has added another chapter to its illustrious motorsports career by joining Stewart-Haas Racing, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team co-owned by two-time champion Tony Stewart.
Kraft Foods’ iconic Oreo cookie and Ritz cracker brands will herald the new relationship with Stewart-Haas Racing as the team’s official cookie and cracker. Stewart will carry Ritz branding on the upper chest of his uniform and on the B-post of his No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet Impala. Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Ryan Newman will carry Oreo branding on the upper chest of his uniform and on the B-post of his No. 39 U.S. Army/Tornados/Haas Automation Chevrolet Impala.
Stewart will kick off the pairing in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway by competing in the season-opening NASCAR Nationwide Series race behind the wheel of the No. 4 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet Impala.
Kraft Foods will augment the partnership by continuing to be an official NASCAR sponsor with Oreo maintaining its role as the official cookie of NASCAR and Ritz remaining as the official cracker of NASCAR.
“Oreo and Ritz have a long, rich heritage with NASCAR and we’re pleased to announce the renewal of our NASCAR sponsorship,” said Michael Tilley, category manager consumer and customer engagement, Kraft Foods. “NASCAR has been a terrific partner, helping us connect with its many passionate fans across the country. We’re privileged to be a sponsor. This year, we’re thrilled to join Stewart-Haas Racing and look forward to what should be an exciting season.”
“Kraft Foods has been an official NASCAR partner since 2000, and thanks to the strong marketing programs of brands familiar to millions of fans such as Oreo and Ritz, they’ve helped our sport grow,” said Jim O’Connell, vice president of corporate marketing and international development, NASCAR. “Kraft Foods’ latest endeavor with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing complements the company’s overall NASCAR involvement extremely well, and it’s a testament to the strength of the sport.”
In its inaugural year of operation in 2009, Stewart-Haas Racing showed that it was new in name only. Stewart and Newman combined to win four races – five with the non-point NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway – along with two poles, 14 top-threes, 20 top-fives, 38 top-10s and a total of 628 laps led. They each earned a coveted berth in the elite Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and after finishing the year sixth and ninth, respectively, in the season-ending point standings, they earned another distinction with the duo being tied for having completed the most laps of all Sprint Cup drivers, as they each finished 99.8 percent of the 10,492 laps available, missing only 24 laps.
“We had a great first season on the racetrack that has helped us off the track in preparation for our second year,” Stewart said. “We’re proud to have Oreo and Ritz on our racecars and grateful for Kraft Foods’ support of Stewart-Haas Racing. As good as last year was, we want to be even better this year, and we’re glad Kraft Foods will be along for the ride.”
That ride will get an early start at Daytona when Stewart pilots the No. 4 Oreo/Ritz Chevrolet Impala in the Feb. 13 Camping World 300 Nationwide Series race, which will be broadcast live on ESPN2 beginning at 1 p.m. EST. Stewart is the race’s defending winner, and has proven victorious in the Nationwide Series season-opener four out of the last five years, scoring back-to-back wins in 2005-2006 and again in 2008-2009.
“Daytona is a place where we’ve had a lot of success,” said Stewart, who has a total of 14 career victories at Daytona. “It’s the only Nationwide Series race on my schedule this year, and I’d like nothing better than to go undefeated and bring Oreo and Ritz a win right of out of the box.”
Release via True Speed Communications