The rumor that Lowe's will not be back as full-time sponsor on Jimmie Johnson's #48 Chevrolet is not shocking. Sure, the company has sponsored the five time Cup champion since the 2001 season when Johnson ran three races in the Cup series for Rick Hendrick. While seeing Johnson in anything but Lowe's blue is almost mind boggling it shouldn't be shocking for NASCAR fans.
If we rewind back to the 2002 season, 42 teams had full-time sponsors. It was uncommon to see teams have more than one primary sponsor. Entering the 2013 season there will be 11 teams with full-time sponsors.
It's a common theme in NASCAR over the last ten seasons. Big companies are buying space on elite teams so they could all be a part of something special. Many sponsors would rather pay 10 races for Jimmie Johnson than be on a smaller team for all 36. Johnson has a better shot at winning those ten races than the smaller team does in any of those 36.
It's scary because usually when a sponsorship makes a deal with an organization, there is little room for that company to sponsor another organization. If a company sponsors a Roush-Fenway Racing car for eight races, it usually means they cannot sponsor an Earnhardt-Ganassi car for a couple of other races. This means smaller teams have to scramble even more than before to find some funding.
Several factors are the reasons why companies have decided to take partial schedules for NASCAR races. Whether it's the expansion of the sport or the economy, or the difference between big teams and small teams growing, one thing is for sure. Most races teams have two or more sponsors on their car throughout the season.
Big name drivers like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Kevin Harvick will all have two or more sponsors sponsoring their cars in the 2013 season. In 2014 it sounds like you can add Jimmie Johnson's name to the list, and that shouldn't surprise anyone.
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