Mars/M&MS re-ups with Gibbs, Kyle Busch

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The Mars corporation announced it has extended its partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing in a multi-year role as primary sponsor of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota Camry.

That means the M&Ms brand – which joined up with Busch and Gibbs in 2008 – isn’t going anywhere, including to a potential new fourth entry for Carl Edwards, which has been widely speculated.

“Being the M&M’s driver and representing Mars on and off the track has been one of the proudest accomplishments in my racing career,” Busch said in a release, via NASCAR.com.

Added NASCAR Chief Operating Officer Brent Dewar, also via NASCAR.com: “Mars is one of the most recognizable brands in NASCAR and is among the best-in-class marketers in all of sports. More than two decades after entering NASCAR, Mars continues to help make race day more fun and we couldn’t be more proud to see the company continue to re-invest in our sport.”

Mars entered NASCAR as a team sponsor in 1990 and stepped up to primary sponsorship beginning in 1999 with Ernie Irvan.

The heavy yellow presence on the Gibbs cars continues for 2015 with Busch’s No. 18 and Matt Kenseth’s No. 20 both seeing an uptick from their primary sponsors. M&Ms is on board the No. 18 the majority of the races and with the Home Depot pulling out from Kenseth, Dollar General is the featured primary on the No. 20.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).