Published on July 22nd, 2008 | by Michael J Smith1
Stewart To Drive The No. 14?
SceneDaily is reporting that Haas CNC Racing’s Joe Custer has applied for his team to trademark the No. 14, which is expected to be Tony Stewart’s car number next season at Stewart Haas Racing.
The team filed for the trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Stewart is said to be interested in the number because it is the number driven by A.J. Foyt.
But, don’t forget, last season Hendrick Motorsports trademarked several numbers presumably for Dale Earnhardt Jr., none of which he actually used. With the announcement that Jr. would be driving the number 88, came speculation that the trademarks were just smoke and mirrors.
I doubt that this is the case with the Haas application. Haas only applied for one number whereas Hendrick applied for 4 or 5. Jr. had sentimental attachment to the number 8 because it was in his grandfather’s. Stewart doesn’t have any attachment to the number 20 other than his time at Joe Gibbs Racing. So, of the two, it would be more likely that Stewart would be willing to give up the 20 than Jr. the 8.
Add in the fact that Jr.’s number was a much bigger story than Stewart’s. Jr. was leaving the company his father built and his stepmother controlled in damatic fashion.
In some ways, he was going to the dark side with Hendrick Motorsports. No way Teresa would let him take the number with him. Even if for no other reason than to stick it to Jr. Stewart’s breakup was amicable. So, there’s no power struggle over the number. Thus, the story is not as big and no smoke and mirrors are needed.