JR Motorsports raided the closet of Turner Motorsports, at least somewhat, recently, both when it comes to sponsorship and drivers. Kasey Kahne, Sprint Cup Series teammate to JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports, moved his part-time Nationwide Series driving efforts from Turner Motorsports to JRM, and according to an announcement from JR Motorsports on Wednesday, longtime Nationwide Series sponsor Great Clips and Brad Sweet, who shared driving duties in the No. 38 car at Turner, are heading to Earnhardt’s team with him.
“I’m looking forward to this new opportunity with JR Motorsports and to continue representing Great Clips, both on and off the track,” Sweet said. “They’ve been extremely supportive of me over the last couple of years, so taking this step with them is very special to me. As a young driver in this sport, having the chance to drive under the JR Motorsports banner is an amazing opportunity that I plan to make the most of.”
Great Clips’ deal with JRM includes primary sponsorship of 28 races, 27 of those being on a No. 5 Chevrolet shared by Kahne in Sweet. As for that 28th race — Great Clips will sponsor a No. 88, driven by Earnhardt. JR Motorsports already has plans in place to field a No. 7 entry full-time for driver Regan Smith. The organization hopes to find funding for the No. 5 for the additional five races on the 2013 series schedule.
“To sign a 28-race sponsor, while adding Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet to our lineup is quite extraordinary,” Motorsports General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller said. “Our goal is still to run two full-time teams, and this helps us greatly to achieve that.”
Great Clips has a long history with Kahne. The hair cutter was sponsor of the No. 38 car, then a part of Akins Motorsports, when Kahne joined that team in 2003. Ownership of the No. 38 has changed hands a couple of times in the years since, from Braun Racing to Turner Motorsports, but Great Clips remained on the hood through the end of the 2012 Nationwide Series season, many of those years with Kahne as a part-time driver of the car.
“Great Clips has been a long-time sponsor of mine for 10 years,” Kahne said. “They support everything that I do, from the Kasey Kahne Foundation to my sprint car team, and they continue to grow their program in NASCAR. We all look forward to joining JR Motorsports and continuing to build on the success that they have had.”
– Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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