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Fifth Third Bank rewews multiyear sponsorship deal with Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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DARLINGTON, S.C. — Roush Fenway Racing will retain Fifth Third Bank’s primary sponsorship of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.‘s No. 17 Ford in a multiyear deal.

Fifth Third Bank has sponsored five races annually with Stenhouse since the 2014 season. It joined the team in 2012.

In a news conference announcing the deal Sunday afternoon at Darlington Raceway before the Southern 500, Tom Heiks, group regional president for Fifth Third Bank, said Stenhouse’s two victories this season weren’t a factor in its decision.

“We enjoy seeing Ricky do well and seeing the team do well,” Heiks said. “We spend a lot of time with these guys and know how hard they work (and) how tenacious they are. These guys deliver success, but but they always are there for us.”

Team president Steve Newmark said Roush Fenway had been able to renew eight or nine companies whose contracts were up in the past two years.

“You try to align with partners that stick with you through ups and down,” Newmark said. “This is validation of that, though you’re always hungry for more. The sport works for a lot of our partners because of the NASCAR fan base.”

Here’s the release from the team: 

CINCINNATI – Fifth Third Bank (NASDAQ: FITB) has renewed its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing as primary sponsor on the No. 17 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Ford with driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. in a multiyear deal.

“I’m so appreciative to continue racing with Fifth Third Bank on the car. It’s great to have partners who believe in the sport and are committed long-term to supporting the business of racing,” said Stenhouse.

Fifth Third Bank came onboard with Roush Fenway Racing in 2012 and has served as a primary sponsor on the No. 17 Ford for the past six seasons.

“We’re excited to extend our relationship with Roush Fenway Racing and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.,” said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer for Fifth Third Bank. “To hear Ricky exclaim our tagline, ‘that’s Banking a Fifth Third Better, boys’ when he captured his first victory this season was incredible. We’re banking on another successful run with him behind the wheel.”

Stenhouse captured his first two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins while sporting the Fifth Third colors during the 2017 season. He will make his 173rd career Monster Energy Cup Series start at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on September 3, where the No. 17 Fifth Third Ford will feature a throwback paint scheme inspired by a Darrell Waltrip 1997 paint scheme.

“The Roush team has been an outstanding partner for the past six seasons, and this goes beyond the race track. With their help, we’ve become the preferred bank of the motorsports industry, providing strategic financial advice and services to teams, tracks, drivers, suppliers and corporate sponsors,” remarked Tom Heiks, Group Regional President for Fifth Third Bank.

The Bank is actively involved within the racing industry, serving on the North Carolina Motorsports Association (NCMA) board, sponsoring the NCMA Industry Tribute Awards Banquet and exhibiting at the Performance Racing Industry Tradeshow. Fifth Third also supports numerous motorsports charities including the NASCAR Foundation, Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities, B.R.A.K.E.S. and Motor Racing Outreach.

“It’s a privilege to continue our relationship with Fifth Third Bank,” said Steve Newmark, president of Roush Fenway Racing. “There are few sponsors in NASCAR who have as deep of an understanding of the industry and whose primary objective is to serve the wellbeing of businesses and individuals in the sport.”

In addition to its partnership with Roush Fenway Racing, Fifth Third Bank is the Official Bank of Daytona International Speedway and the Daytona 500, and a partner with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing in the IndyCar series.

Driver-to-Driver with Jimmie Johnson: ‘I’ve got a lot to prove still’

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Jimmie Johnson is in his 17th year of full-time Cup racing and is in the midst the longest winless streak of his career at 42 races.

But the seven-time champion’s competitive drive is as strong as ever.

Johnson sat down with NBC Sports’ Dale Jarrett to discuss his career at this point in the latest edition of Driver-to-Driver.

“I can honestly say I spend more time now than I did my rookie year focusing on my job,” Johnson said. “I think that the support I have from my wife (Chandra), my kids are 7 and 4, to have them watch me be passionate about something has another meaning I didn’t anticipate coming. I’m lovin’ what I’m doing. I wish the results were a little better than what we have right now, but the process of what I’m going through is really fun.”

Hendrick Motorsports as a whole is in a slump. The team is in the middle of the second longest winless streak in its history at 35 races.

Johnson admits it’s hard to know when the right time will be for him to retire.

“The thing I can pull out of it is, don’t pick a number, make sure that fire’s gone out and that fire hasn’t gone out,” Johnson said. “The other thing that’s weighing on me, I don’t want to go out not at my fullest potential and not on my terms. The last thought that’s going to run through my mind is to walk away or, ‘Oh, it’s not going right, time to stop.’ Uh uh. I know I still got it. I’m going to go down swinging. I’ve got a lot to prove still.”

Watch the above video for more.

 

New Hampshire Cup race underway after rain delay

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The Foxwoods Resort & Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is underway after a three hour and 24 minute rain delay.

The race had been scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET. The green flag waved at 4:24 p.m. ET

Kurt Busch started from the pole and Martin Truex Jr. started second.

Staff picks for today’s Cup race at New Hampshire

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Here’s a look at who the NBC Sports staff is picking to win today’s Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Nate Ryan

Denny Hamlin. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver rediscovers his magic here and locks into the playoffs.

Dustin Long

Martin Truex Jr. wins back-to-back races for the first time in his career.

Daniel McFadin

Kevin Harvick earns a career-best sixth win of the season.

Dan Beaver

Martin Truex Jr. is getting into the same groove he had last year. This week he catches Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch. Next week, he starts to pull away,

Today’s Cup race at New Hampshire: Start time, lineup and more

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The Cup Series holds its only race of the year at New Hampshire Motor Speedway today with the Foxwoods Resort & Casino 301.

Kurt Busch starts on the pole and Martin Truex Jr. starts second.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Jean Swift, treasurer of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Counsel, at 12:51 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 1 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 301 laps (318.46 miles) around the 1.058-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 75. Stage 2 ends on Lap 150.

COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 35

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 7:30 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 11 a.m. Driver introductions are at 12:05 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Vanessa Salvucci will perform the anthem at 12:45 p.m. The Canadian National Anthem will be performed by Kirk Young at 12:42 p.m.

TV/RADIO: NBCSN will broadcast the race beginning at 1 p.m. Coverage begins at noon with Countdown to Green on NBCSN. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at noon p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 70 degrees and a 78 percent chance of rain and storms at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Denny Hamlin won this race last year over Kyle Larson. Kyle Busch won the playoff race over Larson.

TO THE REAR: Landon Cassill (backup) and Michael McDowell (backup).

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the complete starting lineup.