NASCAR: Ditech expanding sponsorship of Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing

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Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing, Kevin Harvick’s No. 4 Chevy has largely been black and white (Jimmy John’s) or red (Budweiser).

In 2015, however, the car’s color palette will also include a bit of blue and pink.

The snazzy paint job will be part of mortgage company Ditech’s expansion of its pact with SHR into primary sponsorship.

The team announced today that Ditech will have a two-race primary deal next season in addition to its continued role as an associate backer – a role that only began last month.

While specific races have not yet been determined, here’s how the Ditech colors will look on the No. 4:

“We are thrilled to expand our sponsorship with Kevin for two primary races in 2015,” Ditech’s chief marketing officer, Rich Smith, said in a team release. “It’s well known that NASCAR fans are steadfast in their support of team sponsors, and the surge in interest and awareness of the Ditech brand is proof of that loyalty.

“Kevin continues to be a top performer in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and we look forward to seeing all that he and the No. 4 team can do this year and in the years to come.”

Said Harvick about the deal: “We’re very proud to be able to deliver for Ditech in such a short period of time. We’re here to win – for us, for Ditech and for Ditech’s customers – and come next year, we’ll have two opportunities to do it in a blue No. 4 Ditech Chevy.”

Ditech is a recent addition to SHR’s already solid portfolio of sponsors, which also includes Bass Pro Shops, GoDaddy, and Mobil 1.

Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”