Michael Waltrip Racing got some much-needed good news Monday.
The organization announced Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer, his crew chief, Brian Pattie, and the team’s sponsorhad signed multiyear extensions to remain at MWR through 2017.
“This is big news for all of us,” Bowyer said in a statement. “It creates great stability and excitement about what the next few years can bring.
“MWR is my racing home and continuing this relationship with 5-Hour Energy was a high priority. It’s time to put the paperwork in a drawer and focus on winning.”
The trio joined MWR during 2012 and Bowyer has earned three wins and twice qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup, including a runner-up finish in 2012. Last season, Bowyer’s No. 15 was involved in a cheating scandal that cost MWR longtime sponsor NAPA and subsequently driver Martin Truex Jr.
“Since the first day 5-Hour Energy, Clint and Brian showed up at MWR, we have been a contender for wins and championships,” said team co-owner Michael Waltrip.
“I am so thankful that we get to continue and add to what we have built. I am most happy for the employees of MWR who are the foundation of everything we do.”
The sponsorship will cover 24 of each season’s 36 races. MWR also fields the No. 55 Toyota team with driver Brian Vickers.
Bowyer, whose extension was for three years, will make his 300th Cup series start Saturday night at his home track, Kansas Speedway.
The deal ensures Camping World will own exclusive sponsor rights for 14 consecutive years, equaling the longest in the history of the series, which began in 1995.
“Six years ago we felt strongly that the sponsorship would dramatically increase our customer base and it’s delivered. We expect to see continued success in the coming years,” said Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises chairman and CEO Marcus Lemonis.
Founded in 1966, Camping World sells recreational vehicles, camping accessories, RV maintenance and repair, and Good Sam is a RV owners organization which offers technical tips, vacation planning, extended warranties and roadside assistance.
“I wish I could have done longer, but I don’t know if I am going to be alive in seven years so seven was good,” Lemonis told The Associated Press. “I’m a bit of a planner when it comes to marketing and I knew if we weren’t going to do it, we needed to let NASCAR know so they’d have ample time and we needed to have a backup plan.”
According to Experian Consumer Research, NASCAR fans are 40 percent more likely than non-fans to go camping.