Hendrick Motorsports has just kicked off Nashville Superspeedway week with a big move. The Cup Series organization has inked a five-year extension with Valvoline, which will keep the company around through the 2027 season.
HMS announced the news on June 21 with a press release. The team confirmed that Valvoline will continue to be the official lubricants partner. The deal will also include five races as the primary partner. Kyle Larson will have three races with the Valvoline scheme on the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro while William Byron will have two featuring the No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet Camaro.
Another key part of the deal is sponsorship of something that takes place away from the race track. Valvoline will continue to serve as the presenting sponsor of the Randy Dorton Hendrick Engine Builder Showdown. This competition puts Hendrick Motorsports engine builders and Hendrick Automotive Group master technicians together as they attempt to build an engine in the quickest time.
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The Timing of the Deal Takes Place Ahead of an Important Race
The extension with Valvoline was expected considering the long-lasting relationship that has featured wins and championships. Though the timing was fitting considering that it took place ahead of the trip to Nashville Superspeedway.
The last time NASCAR headed to the 1.33-mile track in Lebanon, Tenn., Larson showed off the red and white Valvoline scheme while putting on a dominant performance. He started fifth overall before leading 264 of the 300 laps and holding off Ross Chastain on the final run to the checkered flag.
Along with the win at Nashville, Larson also captured a playoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway during the 2021 season. This was his third race of the year featuring Valvoline as his primary partner, and it capped off the Round of 16.
Byron also showcased a Valvoline scheme during the 2021 season. He ran a throwback scheme at Darlington Raceway on May 9 and turned in a fourth-place finish. Byron then brought back Valvoline on October 10 at the Charlotte Roval.
Byron’s third start with Valvoline, which took place in 2022, was during a historic race. He took part in the inaugural Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum, and he finished sixth overall while driving the No. 24 Valvoline Chevrolet.
Larson Has 1 Remaining Race in 2022 With Valvoline
The No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro primarily uses a blue and white scheme. HendrickCars.com has been Larson’s primary partner throughout his tenure with the Cup Series team. However, Valvoline has supported him with three races each season.
The No. 5 used the red and white scheme at Nashville Superspeedway, Daytona International Speedway, and Bristol Motor Speedway during the 2021 season. The company then returned for 2022 with races at Phoenix Raceway and World Wide Technology Raceway. The third race with Valvoline will likely take place at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 23, per a preseason uniform schedule released by Hendrick Motorsports.
The race at Homestead-Miami Speedway will be important for multiple reasons. It will present an opportunity to secure a spot in the championship four, provided Larson is still above the cutline at that point in the playoffs. The race will also represent another opportunity for the California native to win his first race at the track. Larson has eight previous starts with four top-five finishes to his name.