It was announced early in the day on Tuesday that Richard Childress Racing driver Austin Dillon will be entering into a partnership with Bass Pro Shops. There were rumblings earlier this season that Dillon and the No. 3 team still had a handful of races for which they did not have primary sponsorship for the car. The new deal with Bass Pro Shops will help solve sponsorship problems for at least two of those open slots.
Dillon’s deal will make Bass Pro Shops the primary sponsor on the No. 3 machine for races at Talladega and Daytona. The partnership is being called a commemoration of Dillon and his rookie season in Sprint Cup. The company first partnered with Dillon in 2010 and then again in 2011 when he won the Camping World Truck Series Championship. In a recent RCR press release, Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris commented on the sponsorship.
All of us at Bass Pro Shops are excited about continuing our friendship and business relationship with our long-time friend Richard Childress and sponsoring Austin Dillon during his rookie season in the Sprint Cup Series. The No. 3 car is where we got our start so it’s great to see it back in action.
Dillon also shared his thoughts on the partnership with Bass Pro Shops.
Johnny Morris and everyone at Bass Pro Shops have been alongside me for a majority of my racing accomplishments. I have photos of a giant Bass Pro Shops logo on the hood of my first Bandolero car when I was just starting out racing. They’ve been featured on my dirt late model and Bass Pro Shops was the primary sponsor of my truck when we won the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship. I have countless memories of growing up hunting and fishing with Johnny and his son, John Paul. They are true friends so it means so much that they can be a part of my rookie season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, especially at tracks like Talladega Superspeedway and Daytona International Speedway that have so much history with RCR.
Dillon and the No. 3 team aren’t the only big names looking for more sponsors in 2014. As of mid February Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the No. 88 team were still seeking sponsorship for 12 races this season. I think it’s safe to say that finding Earnhardt Jr. sponsorship isn’t going to be an issue but it is interesting that he would have so many races open. It’s also interesting that a team a big as RCR would have not filled up Dillon’s sponsors yet even though he is a rookie.
Sponsors might not be the biggest issue of the early 2014 season for Dillon. Some in the media rushed to appoint Dillon as the top of the rookie class but thus far he is being outdone by fellow rookie Kyle Larson. Granted, the season is still young but Dillon will need to step it up or Larson might just take Rookie of the Year honors.
Source: RCR Press Release