Office Depot will leave Stewart Haas Racing’s No. 14 car driven by Tony Stewart at season’s end, and will not sponsor the car in any capacity in 2013, according to ESPN.com.
SHR spokesman Mike Arning said:
Office Depot has notified SHR that they will not be renewing as the primary sponsor of the No. 14 team. However, SHR is in continued discussions with Office Depot regarding possible future roles the company could have with the team.
Mindy Kramer, of Office Depot, said:
The changing business landscape warrants a realignment of priorities and resources. That being said, Tony Stewart has been an exceptional ambassador for our brand, and he has gone above and beyond in everything that he has done for our company. Being a part of his legendary 2011 championship run was a moment of tremendous pride for everyone at Office Depot.
Office Depot does want to be involved with Stewart and the team, but in what capacity has yet to be determined.
Office Depot held primary sponsorship of the car in 22 of 38 races in 2012. Mobil 1 sponsors the car for the remaining 16 races. Mobil 1 will serve as primary sponsor for the same number of races in 2013.
This news comes as another blow, as SHR’s No. 39 Sprint Cup Chevy, driven by Ryan Newman, lost one of its primary sponsors when the US Army announced that it would be leaving the team at season’s end. Still, SHR expects to field three teams in 2013.