NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As Busch and NASCAR premier series driver Kevin Harvick chase another championship, the beer brand today announced it will be back on the hood of Harvick's No. 4 car for the next three years. Busch will serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team for select races throughout the 2017 NASCAR premier series season, beginning with The Unlimited Feb. 18 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Busch, Busch Light and other special-edition Busch paint schemes will be featured on Harvick's No. 4 car for a total of 16 races throughout 2017, an increase from 12 races last season. Busch returned to racing prior to the 2016 premier series season, reigniting its storied history in the sport which dates back to 1978.
"While we expected a warm welcome back into the sport of racing, we were ultimately blown away by the reception we received from race fans across the country," said Chelsea Phillips, Senior Director of Value Brands, Anheuser-Busch. "We had a blast connecting with Busch drinkers and race fans alike throughout the 2016 season, and we're looking forward to a continued relationship with these passionate fans through our extended partnership with Kevin and SHR."
The partnership between Harvick and Busch has proven to be a winning combination. Harvick and the No. 4 team have made four trips to victory lane this season, most notably when he took the checkered flag in August at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway with the Busch logo on the hood. Busch and the No. 4 car have made headlines all season long with at-track activations and eye-catching paint schemes that tie back to Busch brand initiatives, including an iconic throwback look at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, a fishing theme at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and a blaze-orange hunting car at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
"From the retro look at Darlington to the blaze-orange hunting scheme at Charlotte, there's been buzz every time one of the Busch paint schemes hits the track," Harvick added. "The fans let us know how thrilled they were to have Busch back in the sport last year, and I'm looking forward to getting back to victory lane with the Busch logo on the hood in 2017 and beyond."
Busch will leverage its racing platform all year long, employing a comprehensive marketing approach to engage with racing enthusiasts and loyal Busch consumers through on-track, experiential, in-market and retail activations during the 2017 premier series season.
Friends of Harvick, Busch beer and members of the SHR team celebrated the renewed partnership in a fitting manner – by raising a glass (or a can of Busch) and sending their congratulations. Harvick received videos from SHR co-owner Tony Stewart, crew chief Rodney Childers and members of the No. 4 pit crew, seven-time angler of the year Kevin Van Dam, country artist Matt Stillwell, pro golfer Jason Gore, MMA fighters Miesha Tate and Cowboy Cerrone and sports broadcaster Shannon Spake. A video compiling the congratulatory messages was shared by SHR on Twitter and can be viewed on YouTube.
Busch first became involved in racing in 1978 when it sponsored the Busch Pole Award, which was awarded to the pole winner of each NASCAR premier series race. The brand has been engrained in the sport ever since, including introducing the Busch Clash in 1979, serving as the title sponsor of NASCAR's stepping-stone division to the premier series – currently known as the XFINITY Series – from 1984 through 2007, as well as being the "Official Beer of NASCAR" from 1988 through 1997. Busch also sponsored racing legend Cale Yarborough's No. 11 car throughout the 1979 and 1980 premier series seasons, where he racked up 10 wins and 38 top-five finishes with the Busch logo on the hood during a 62-race span.
About Busch Beer
Busch was introduced in 1955, holding a noted place in Anheuser-Busch history as the first new brand after the repeal of Prohibition. Busch Light and Busch are currently the sixth and tenth best-selling beers in America, respectively.
For more than 160 years, Anheuser-Busch and its world-class brewmasters have carried on a legacy of brewing America's most-popular beers. Starting with the finest ingredients sourced from Anheuser-Busch's family of growers, every batch is crafted using the same exacting standards and time-honored traditions passed down through generations of proud Anheuser-Busch brewmasters and employees. Best known for its fine American-style lagers, Budweiser and Bud Light, the company's beers lead numerous beer segments. Budweiser and Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita were named Brands of the Year for the Beer and the Spirits, Malt Beverages and Wine categories, respectively, by Ace Metrix® in 2014. Anheuser-Busch is the U.S. arm of Anheuser-Busch InBev and operates 17 local breweries, 21 distributorships and 23 agricultural and packaging facilities across the United States. The company committed to investing more than $1.5 billion in its U.S. brewing, agriculture, packaging and distributing operations by 2018. Its flagship brewery remains in St. Louis, Mo., and is among the global company's largest and most technologically-capable breweries. Visitor and special beermaster tours are available at its St. Louis and five other Anheuser-Busch breweries. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
About Stewart-Haas Racing
Stewart-Haas Racing is the title-winning NASCAR premier series team co-owned by three-time series champion Tony Stewart and Gene Haas, founder of Haas Automation – the largest CNC machine tool builder in North America. The team fields four entries in the premier series – the No. 4 car for Kevin Harvick, the No. 10 car for Danica Patrick, the No. 14 car for Stewart and the No. 41 car for Kurt Busch. Based in Kannapolis, North Carolina, Stewart-Haas Racing operates out of a 200,000-square-foot facility with approximately 300 employees. For more information, please visit us on the Web at www.StewartHaasRacing.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/StewartHaasRacing, on Twitter @StewartHaasRcng and on Instagram @StewartHaasRacing.
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