NASCAR Notes: Sponsor news for Brad Keselowski, David Gilliland

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For eight races in this year’s Sprint Cup season, former champion Brad Keselowski’s “Blue Deuce” will be turning yellow.

After serving as a backer for Team Penske’s Nationwide Series program in recent years, Alliance Truck Parts has jumped to Cup as a primary sponsor for Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford Fusion.

Their first of eight races in that role will come March 2 at Phoenix International Raceway. In addition, Alliance will serve as a major associate sponsor on the No. 2 throughout the season.

“This is a great opportunity for a strong new partner to join the No. 2 Team Penske Ford as Alliance Truck Parts increases its presence in NASCAR,” Keselowski said in a statement.

“This is a natural partnership as Penske and Alliance Truck Parts are both strong transportation-based companies. We’re anxious to see the prominent yellow No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Fusion on the track this year.”

Keselowski’s Miller Lite colors will remain the most familiar on the No. 2, however, as they will sponsor the car for 24 races (a reduction from previous full-season runs).

Also announcing sponsorship news today is Front Row Motorsports, which has gained a 14-race sponsorship from the Love’s Travel Stops chain for its No. 38 Ford Fusion and driver David Gilliland.

It’s an noticeable expansion from Love’s three-race commitment last year – a commitment that earned them a bit of exposure after Gilliland pushed teammate David Ragan to the win last spring at Talladega Superspeedway.

“This partnership with Love’s is a perfect example of how our program works and why it’s so successful,” said team owner Bob Jenkins in a release.

“They got their feet wet last season, saw the benefits of a partnership with Front Row Motorsports, and now they’re expanding their involvement. And we couldn’t be happier that the No. 38 car has a principal sponsor who will be with us throughout the season.”

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.