In a press release sent out by Hendrick Motorsports early Wednesday morning, the championship winning racing organization announced that two companies have agreed to serve as primary sponsors for driver Kyle Larson and his team. Machine tool maker Cincinnati, Inc. and heavy-duty truck manufacturer Freightliner have been named as the backers for the No. 5 Chevrolet.
“We’re pleased to have Cincinnati and Freightliner grow their respective partnerships with us,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in the release. “The best way we can show our appreciation is with high performance on and off the racetrack. NASCAR has tremendous momentum going into 2021, and Kyle and the No. 5 crew will certainly be one of the most exciting teams to watch this year. We look forward to seeing Cincinnati and Freightliner at the front of the field with them.”
Both Cincinnati and Freightliner were already sponsors for Hendrick Motorsports. Each company had previously signed long-term deals but have now agreed to expand their relationship with the Concord, North Carolina-based company that has won 12 NASCAR Cup Series championships with drivers Terry Labonte, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
NationsGuard had already been announced as Larson’s sponsor for the season-opening Daytona 500. Races in which Cincinnati and Freightliner will be placed on the car have yet to be announced.
Larson was suspended from NASCAR after four races when he used an inappropriate racial slur while competing in an iRacing.com event during the shutdown related to the coronavirus pandemic. He was then released by then team Chip Ganassi Racing. After completing the required sensitivity training steps, he was reinstated by NASCAR then signed to a contract by HMS that officially became effective after the New Year.
While out of NASCAR, Larson went on a tear through the dirt racing circuits that saw him wins scores of races in Sprint Cars, Midget Sprint Cars, and Dirt Late Models. He has already won the Chili Bowl Nationals race for Midget Sprint Cars in Oklahoma and the season-opening feature race for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at All-Tech Raceway in Florida.
“I’m excited Cincinnati and Freightliner have increased their partnership with Hendrick Motorsports and are now part of the No. 5 team,” Larson declared in the press release. “Cliff has built a team that I know can battle for wins on a weekly basis. With the support of great partners like Cincinnati and Freightliner, I can’t wait to get back to the track and go to work. It’s great to have them along for the ride.”
The NASCAR Cup Series gets underway on February 14th in the Daytona 500 at the Daytona International Speedway.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association
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