Ex-major primary sponsor returns to racing, but not to NASCAR

5-hour ENERGY is back in motorsports as a sponsor, but not in NASCAR, where it last appeared back in 2018 before leaving Furniture Row Racing.

Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, 5-hour ENERGY, NASCAR
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing, 5-hour ENERGY, NASCAR / Sarah Crabill/GettyImages

5-hour ENERGY joined the Joe Gibbs Racing-affiliated Furniture Row Racing team ahead of the 2017 season as a majority primary sponsor of the No. 77 Toyota that was driven by rookie Erik Jones.

Jones, who had previously spent several seasons competing for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, went on to replace Matt Kenseth behind the wheel of the No. 20 Toyota at Joe Gibbs Racing's Cup Series team in 2018.

But 5-hour ENERGY remained with Furniture Row Racing, instead sponsoring the No. 78 Toyota of then-reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr.

Before the 2018 season concluded, 5-hour ENERGY announced that they would not be back with Furniture Row Racing in 2019. While the team indicated that the news would not keep them from competing the following year, the organization did end up folding once the 2018 season came to a close.

Truex went on to replace Daniel Suarez behind the wheel of the No. 19 Toyota at Joe Gibbs Racing, where he still competes to this day.

Now 5-hour ENERGY is back in the racing world as a sponsor -- but not in NASCAR.

The number one energy shot in the United States has joined the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing IndyCar team as a full-season associate sponsor of the No. 30 Honda.

The car is set to be driven by team newcomer Pietro Fittipaldi, and branding is set to appear on the machine throughout the 17-race season.

5-hour ENERGY joining Fittipaldi creates somewhat of a perfect match for the 2024 season. The company has not been involved in racing since 2018, and the 27-year-old Brazilian-American has competed in just three IndyCar races since the 2018 season, when he was set to split a ride with Zachary Claman De Melo at Dale Coyne Racing.

Unfortunately for Fittipaldi, he was sidelined after breaking both of his legs in a World Endurance Championship race at Spa in Belgium. He still ended up competing in six IndyCar races that year and recorded a top finish of ninth place at Portland International Raceway.

Fittipaldi's three starts in 2021 came with Dale Coyne Racing with Rick Ware Racing.

Next. Indy 500: Way-too-early entry list prediction for 2024 (up to 36 cars?). Indy 500: Way-too-early entry list prediction for 2024 (up to 36 cars?). dark

The 2024 season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, March 10 with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.