Major NASCAR Sponsor Announces Departure After 2022 Season

Getty Camping World will leave NASCAR after the 2022 season.

One of the national NASCAR series is about to undergo a significant change. Camping World has announced it will not return as the entitlement sponsor for the Truck Series.

Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, tweeted out the news on July 27 ahead of the first Truck Series playoff race. He released a statement and explained why the company was making this decision. Lemonis said that the marketing money would go to the employees of Camping World.

“What an amazing opportunity it’s been,” Lemonis wrote. “14 years, over 30 race entitlements, over 35 drivers sponsored and some of the best fans once could wish for. Thank you, NASCAR. Marketing and sponsorships continue to build and expand our Camping World business. BUT it’s the people that work IN the business every day that make it GO and GROW.

“In acknowledging what matters most, OUR PEOPLE, we have made the decision to reallocate those marketing dollars towards increasing the income and benefits of OUR PEOPLE. From my perspective, THERE IS NO BETTER MONEY SPENT.”

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Lemonis provided further comments during a July 27 appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. For example, he told Claire B. Lang that he had informed his employees “about six weeks ago” that the company would leave NASCAR.

Questions Have Circulated About Camping World Since June

Truck Series

GettyZane Smith (front) races at Texas Motor Speedway.

The announcement from Lemonis answers a question that has lingered since June 17. This is the day that Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal noted that Camping World and NASCAR were in the middle of a seven-year extension and that the deal expired after the 2022 season.

Stern said at the time that Camping World could end its sponsorship of the NASCAR series, which would bring an end to the relationship that started with the 2009 season. There was no public confirmation at the time that Lemonis and Camping World would pull the plug, but now NASCAR fans have an answer.

Lemonis did not provide an answer to another lingering question with his announcement. Does this affect the Camping World sponsorship of other series? The company also supports the Camping World NHRA Drag Racing Series and the Camping World SRX Series. Will Camping World leave both series, or will it continue to sponsor them while departing NASCAR?

A Potential Replacement Has Surfaced

Hailie Deegan

GettyCraftsman could return as the entitlement sponsor of the Truck Series.

The next biggest question revolves around the replacement. According to Stern, NASCAR has been aware of Camping World’s departure and the sanctioning body is “well down the line” with a potential replacement that can step in for the 2023 season.

The intriguing aspect is the company that could take over for Camping World. Stern said that Craftsman is “believed to be the leading candidate.” The tool company has maintained a presence in NASCAR for quite some time, including recent sponsorship of Hailie Deegan and David Gilliland Racing in the Truck Series and multiple members of Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series and Cup Series.

Craftsman also served as the entitlement sponsor of the Truck Series during its second-ever season (1996). The company remained in this role through the 2008 season when Johnny Benson Jr. won the championship. Camping World then took over in 2009 for Ron Hornaday Jr.’s fourth championship season.

If Stern’s sources are correct, Craftsman could now make its return in a major way. The company could take the series back to the 1996 season and bring back a classic feel for 22 to 23 races depending on the schedule.

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