According to Richard Childress Racing in a scheduled press conference this morning, Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Chevrolet, will become the next star to take the wheel of the iconic Budweiser car when the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season begins in February.
"Budweiser's involvement in NASCAR dates back more than three decades, and we're excited to have as successful a driver as Kevin Harvick to usher in a new era for Budweiser," said Mark Wright, vice president of media, sports, and entertainment marketing for Anheuser-Busch.
"Kevin also benefits from having the support of a highly respected owner in Richard Childress and the great people of Richard Childress Racing, who will help put the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet in a position to challenge for Sprint Cup championships," Wright added.
Under the terms of the deal, Budweiser will serve as primary sponsor of the No. 29 Chevrolet for 20 points races and two non-points races during Speedweeks, and it will also be the co-primary sponsor of the Sprint All-Star Race.
Budweiser will remain an associate sponsor for the remaining races on the schedule. "Budweiser is one of the most respected sponsors in our sport," said Harvick.
"They do a lot to market their teams and the sport in television broadcasts and away from the track. I'm looking forward to driving the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet, taking it to Victory Lane, and winning championships," he continued.
The 2011 season will mark Harvick's 10th full year in NASCAR's top series. In 2001 he earned two victories en route to a ninth-place finish and Rookie of the Year honors.
Harvick has 14 Sprint Cup Series wins, 72 top-five finishes, and 145 top-10s, with major points victories coming in the 2003 Brickyard 400 and 2007 Daytona 500.
Since the introduction of the season-ending "Chase for the Sprint Cup" format in 2004, Harvick has made the Chase three times and on two occasions finished a career-high fourth in the final point standings.
He is also the two-time and defending champion of the Budweiser Shootout (2009-2010).
Harvick currently sits atop the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with three wins, 11 top-five finishes, and 16 top-10s, and he became the first driver to clinch a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup—his fourth appearance in five years—following his win at the Carfax 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
"Throughout his career, Kevin has shown he can win at any level in NASCAR," said Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing.
Childress also added, "Combining his talent with Budweiser's NASCAR lineage and proven track record of innovative sponsorship activations makes this an exciting pairing for fans everywhere."
"RCR prides itself on its heritage and authenticity, so working with a brand like Budweiser, which has built their reputation on those same values, is a very special opportunity," he continued.
The King of Beers first sponsored a team on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series circuit in 1983, and its legacy in racing has been solidified by popular drivers like Terry Labonte, Darrell Waltrip, Geoff Bodine, Bill Elliott, Kenny Schrader, Ricky Craven, Wally Dallenbach, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Kasey Kahne.
Photo credit: Richard Childress Racing