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TALLADEGA, Ala. -- Shell Oil Co. announced the brand's return to NASCAR through a multi-year primary sponsorship of Richard Childress Racing (RCR). Both Shell and Pennzoil brands will be featured on the No. 29 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS to be driven by Kevin Harvick in the 2007 NEXTEL Cup series.
Shell also will be the associate sponsor on other RCR cars, including the No. 31 car driven by Jeff Burton and the No. 07 car driven by Clint Bowyer.
"Our plan with RCR and Kevin Harvick is pretty simple: have fun with our employees, wholesalers, retailers, distributors and customers through a sport we all love," said John Hofmeister, president, Shell Oil Co. "It's also about aligning the leading fuels and lubricants brands with a winner on the track so we can create innovative marketing platforms and products that drive business. NASCAR fans and Shell customers are one in the same, and rejoining Shell with the NASCAR family is the next logical step in our global motorsports platform."
Shell's technological leadership and its innovative products have helped position the company as the "preferred partner" both on and off the track for some of the auto industry's top companies, including General Motors (GM), Ferrari and Audi.
Shell has a storied history of motorsports successes and 2006 has built on that legacy. This year, Shell continues to enjoy success as Ferrari's longtime technical partner in Formula One; it recently debuted a unique diesel racing fuel that powered the Audi R10 to victories in both the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans; and recently re-signed with Ducati to continue together in the MotoGP Series.
Alignment with such a strong team and a leading driver, like Harvick, will allow Shell and Pennzoil brands to expand their NASCAR presence while growing stronger business opportunities, according to Shell.
"Being associated with Shell and Pennzoil, with their longstanding support of motorsports, is a true vote of confidence for me as a driver," said Harvick. "It's every driver's dream to have a sponsor that is equally passionate and knowledgeable about the sport. Plus, it's not every day that you get the chance to carry the flag for a company that has over 20,000 employees and more than 13,000 locations across the country. That's quite a fan base!"
GM Goodwrench, currently the primary sponsor of Harvick's No. 29 car, will continue to support RCR racing and Harvick as an associate sponsor. This new relationship on the track will complement the many programs Shell already has with GM, Hofmeister said. "We're working together to make hydrogen available to consumers through a local Shell station in Washington, D.C.; in Chicago, we have a joint test pilot to gauge consumer interest in E85, and we provide supply for some of GM's lubricants needs," he said.
While no immediate plans were shared with regard to the company's marketing efforts in NASCAR, Shell officials said more news will be forthcoming on
activation plans surrounding RCR and the No. 29 Shell car.
Shell Oil Products US, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Co., has a network of about 6,000 Shell-branded gasoline stations in the western United States.