Bass Pro Shops is expected to be a co-primary sponsor for Tony Stewart’s NASCAR Sprint Cup effort next season, FOXSports.com has learned.
Office Depot, which supported Stewart since the inception of Stewart-Haas Racing in 2009, will withdraw its sponsorship at the end of the season. The company was the primary on 22 of the 38 NASCAR Cup races this season. Mobil 1, which was a co-primary with Office Depot this season, will continue in that role in 2013.
Stewart won his third Sprint Cup championship last season under the Office Depot/Mobil 1 banner. He is third in the points standings. Stewart has qualified in all but one (2007) Chase for the Sprint Cup since the program’s inception in 2004.
Bass Pro Shops has enjoyed a long relationship with NASCAR. The outdoors company sponsored Martin Truex Jr. in a limited run at Dale Earnhardt Inc. when the driver won his first Nationwide Series title in 2004. The company took over as a full primary the following year and graduated with Truex to the Sprint Cup Series for his first full season in 2006. When DEI merged with Ganassi Racing prior to the 2009 season, Bass Pro Shops accompanied Truex and then remained with the team with Jamie McMurray when he returned to Ganassi in 2010 and has been with McMurray since.
During Bass Pro Shops' Cup tenure, the sponsor has enjoyed just one Chase appearance — with Truex in 2007, which also was where the company earned its first Cup win. Although McMurray, 36, had a banner season in 2010 with wins in the Daytona 500, Brickyard 400 and Charlotte fall race, he has never qualified for the Chase. Currently, McMurray is 20th in the points standings. His best finish was seventh at Bristol Motor Speedway in March.