Tony Stewart and his new ride for 2013 adorned on a 2012 car. (Getty)
Bass Pro Shops announced their partnership with Tony Stewart and Stewart-Haas Racing on Thursday night and on Friday at Talladega, they revealed the terms of the sponsorship agreement that will see the company on the hood of Stewart's No. 14 car for 18 races in 2013.
Stewart said Friday that the team approached Bass Pro when it became uncertain if Office Depot would return in 2013. Bass Pro sponsored Jamie McMurray in the Earnhardt Ganassi No. 1 car for 18 races in 2012. Office Depot and SHR announced in September that the company wouldn't be returning.
"We worked on it then we went to Johnny (Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops) and knew that there might be the possibility that Office Depot might be leaving but at the same time we know that the U.S. Army had already made their decision that they were leaving. We gave him different options," Stewart said. "The one thing about Johnny is he is very loyal. We weren't trying to steal him away from anybody but we just threw it out there that if he ever decided to make a change that we had opportunities now that we really hadn't had in the past to do something. When Office Depot made their announcement then it was very clear that we had an opportunity on our car as well. That is when we went to him and we worked on it I would say all the way pretty much through Richmond until we made a decision."
Morris said that Bass Pro would continue to be involved with Austin and Ty Dillon, and that he hoped to stay associated with McMurray in some capacity.
Mobil 1, currently a co-primary sponsor on Stewart's car, will be back with the team for 11 races, leaving nine races that the team is still in need of primary sponsorship for. Unfortunately, From the Marbles won't be able to be that sponsor. We're still working on our 2013 plans.
"Well it's important that we fill it, but I've got a great partner with Gene Haas," Stewart said. "Obviously he is all in with this program. He is not going to let it not succeed. Haas Automation could fill in if we needed to, but it's our hope that we can find somebody that can carry those last nine races for us and be a good partner with Bass Pro Shops and Mobil 1 and really tie this all together and complete it. We do have Haas Automation as a safety net so to speak if we really needed it. My goal as his business partner is to not have to all back on him and have to utilize his resource that way."
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