KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Last October at Kansas Speedway, Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Clint Bowyer would drive the team's third car with sponsorship from 5-Hour Energy for 25 races in 2012.
On Friday at Kansas, the team announced that 5-Hour Energy has increased its investment to 35 races, all but one of the 36 points races. That race will be at Talladega in two weeks when Bowyer drives an Alabama-themed Aaron's car in honor of the Crimson Tide's BCS title.
"We have measured real growth through our retail partnerships, in-market activation, sales growth and brand awareness," 5-Hour Energy president Scott Henderson said in a release. "The numbers show we've exceeded all expectations. This increase allows us to target even more markets. We're business people, and the numbers show NASCAR delivers the audience we need to market our product."
Maybe this will mean a 5-Hour Energy advertisement during every NASCAR commercial break from now until the rest of the season. (Don't worry, it only seems like they're on every segment.)
Given the recent trend of sponsors scaling back the number of races they're involved in, 5-Hour's increase may be a welcome sign that the sponsorship landscape is improving. However, given the ubiquity of the product, it doesn't seem like they're struggling anyway, so time will tell if their increase is a true reflection of the NASCAR economy or an outlier.