Sponsors are the life blood of NASCAR. Without them, the teams wouldn’t have the funding to put on the amazing show that we have all come to love. In NASCAR’s first 75 years, we have had some interesting sponsors. Some have made an impression on us, and others are iconic.
Nothing lasts forever though. Just ask Kyle Busch, who in 2022 lost one of NASCAR’s longest running sponsors in M&M’s. That loss of sponsorship was a major catalyst in his decision to find a new racing home.
Sponsors come and sponsors go, and here is our list of which ones should come back to be with us for many years to come, and a brief history on their time in the sport.
You had to know this was coming right? A long time NASCAR sponsor, they found incredible long time success with one of NASCAR’s greatest. Lowes came aboard the 48 Chevrolet piloted by Jimmie Johnson in 2001 for 4 races, and full time to start Johnson’s rookie season.
The partnership had immediate success and the rest was history. Johnson and Lowes recorded some of NASCAR’s greatest accomplishments, including a record tying 7 Cup series championships, 5 of which were consecutive from 2006-2010. They left the sport at the conclusion of the 2018 season and haven’t been back.
Ok, Ok, we promise this isn’t just home good stores. Home Depot and Lowes were the Yin and Yang of NASCAR during the 2000’s. Home Depot was the iconic sponsor of 3X Champion turned team owner Tony Stewart. Stewart claimed 2 championships with Home depot, and that 20 machine of Joe Gibbs with its bright orange livery was a menace to all around him.
After Stewart left to become a team owner at Stewart Haas at the conclusion of the 2008 season, Home Depot stayed on the 20 car at Gibbs with 2 other Cup champions. They were rookie Joey Logano’s sponsor, with Logano winning twice in the 20. They were then a secondary sponsor for 2003 Cup champion Matt Kenseth in his time at Gibbs. They left the sport in 2017.
When you think of amazing paint schemes, the Kellogg’s cars come to mind. Terry Labonte in the 90’s with the iconic Corn Flakes car, Kyle Busch in his time at Hendrick Motorsports, Mark Martin in his career resurgence piloting the 5 chevrolet, or cousin Carl doing backflips with Tony the Tiger on the hood, Kellogg’s has a long rich history in our sport, and we have an appetite to see them return.
This one hurt when they exited following the 2020 season. Piloted by some of NASCAR’s finest, a sponsor of championship caliber, Miller Lite burst onto the scene in the 80’s and collected quite a trophy case between Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski, including the 2012 Cup championship in Dodge’s farewell season in the sport. Beer sponsorships and NASCAR go hand in hand, and Miller Lite brought elegance and class to the field.
Not the Dale Jr. sponsor you thought we were going with here huh? While Budweiser is iconic, they are still alive and well in our sport with Busch Light on the 4 machine. The National Guard however, had an incredible run in NASCAR. From Dale Jr’s 2014 Daytona 500 win, to Casey Mears lone win in the 2007 Coca Cola 600, and many years on Greg Biffle’s 16 Ford at Roush, the National Guard always brought patriotic paint schemes to the track, and seeing them back would be a pleasure.