For years Marlboro has been nearly synonymous with Penske, its racing cars (in open-wheels especially) adorned with the tobacco company's red-and-white color scheme for decades, even if their name hasn't appeared on the cars since 2005. But after 19 years in racing together, Marlboro parent company Phillip Morris ended its sponsorship of the motor racing dynasty earlier this year. Now it appears that Shell Oil could be taking its place.
The deal, which comes into effect next season, encompasses Penske Racing teams in several series, including the Indy Racing League and both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series in NASCAR, but does not appear to extend to Penske's American Le Mans Series team.
In the Sprint Cup, the Shell deal comes at the expense of Richard Childress Racing (pictured above), which brought in Shell to replace Jack Daniels sponsorship which it lost last year. The Shell and Pennzoil logos will instead adorn the #22 car of Penske's former champion Kurt Busch, while teammate Brad Keselowski's #2 Dodge will continue with Miller Lite sponsorship. In Indy, meanwhile, the sponsorship replaces Penske's longstanding deal with ExxonMobil.