At this time last season, Tony Stewart was putting the final touches on making a lifelong dream come true.
After entering the NASCAR series 10 years ago in 1999, Stewart went on to win two championships to go along with his 33 victories during this time span. In so doing, he added his name to the list of successful drivers in the Cup series.
Stewart, who is no stranger to taking on a few business ventures when it comes to the world of motorsports, took half ownership of a struggling team and within a season was able to turn it around while making a legitimate run for the Sprint Cup championship.
But all of this couldn’t have been possible, had it not been for the sponsorship that Stewart was able to secure for the season.
Sponsorship has not been easy to come by this past season, and even Stewart knew that he would have to depict his team as a serious threat to win races if he wanted to lock up good solid sponsors.
Old Spice and Office Depot quickly climbed on board, along with The Army for his teammate Newman, and he would also pick up Burger King along the way.
With many of the teams losing sponsorship for the 2010 season, Stewart is doing the opposite.
He announced this past Saturday that Tornadoes, a brand of Ruiz Foods, will take over for five races as Newman’s primary sponsor for the 2010 season.
"I honestly don't know. This is a time when you don't see a lot of new groups coming into the sport," said Stewart. "When we made the decision to start this venture last year and Ryan came on board, I think everybody kind of rallied around that and I think that's what's attracted a lot of these corporations to be a part of our family.”
Stewart will also carry the “How Bold Is How We Roll” logo on the hood of his No. 14 Chevrolet for a few races next season.
"It's important for us as a team," Stewart said. "But at the same time, it's important for Tornados. This is a time in our sport where it's hard to find sponsors that have the availability to sponsor a car for the whole season.”
“Making a package that works for them also is something that's important in our sport," Stewart added. "So it works for both sides. This is something that if it doesn't work for them, it doesn't work for us either."