Fifth Third Bank to Sponsor Kenseth

Matt Kenseth

Fifth Third will be the primary sponsor of Kenseth’s Ford at four Sprint Cup Series races in 2012. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Roush Fenway Racing kicked off All-Star week in Charlotte by announcing Fifth Third Bank as a new primary sponsor for Matt Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford.

Kenseth, who is currently second in the Sprint Cup Series standings, will begin the multi-year partnership by racing the blue and green colors of Fifth Third in Saturday night’s All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

“It’s always exciting to announce a new sponsor on your car,” Kenseth said. “It’s always fun to bring in a new company and introduce them to NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing.”

Kenseth is coming off his second Charlotte points-paying win and will be seeking his second in the All-Star Race after winning the 2004 edition.

“Charlotte last year we had a decent All-Star Race, but we had an awesome 600,” said Kenseth, who won the 2004 All-Star race. “Just strategy at the end and all that stuff in the end didn’t work out. Then I was able to win the fall race so I’m really looking forward to getting back to Charlotte.”

Following the All-Star Race, Kenseth will carry the Fifth Third sponsorship at Kentucky Speedway (June 30), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 29) and Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 19).

Matt KensethA similar number of races for the following years will be announced at a later date. Although the No. 17 program is still seeking additional partners, owner Jack Roush remains committed to Kenseth.

“Matt Kesneth is the cornerstone of Roush Fenway Racing and he will be part of it as long as I am, as long as he wants to be,” Roush said. “He’s certainly got a place here as long as I can stay at the head of it.”

Today’s announcement answered the question many race fans had been debating since the team sent out a press release regarding “a new number” to be announced for Kenseth’s No. 17 Ford.

“The 17 is a part of Matt Kenseth and part of Roush Fenway,” Roush said. “We’d like to give Fifth Third as much exposure as we could. It would have been very interesting if NASCAR would have gone along to run it as a one-race All-Star thing. We need to keep the 17 going and there needs to be continuity for the fans and for Matt. We can’t generate a new number for every sponsor that would come down the road regardless of their affiliation with a number in their business name.”

Kenseth, Roush along with executives from Fifth Third unveiled the car in the NASCAR Hall of Fame’s Great Hall.

“Roush Fenway Racing is excited to partner with Fifth Third Bank and help drive their business through a primary sponsorship of Matt Kenseth’s team,” Roush said. “They are a well respected, innovative financial services organization with a long and rich history that shares our company’s passion for excellence and commitment to winning.”

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, Matt Kenseth

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