Race Weekend Central

First Data to Sponsor Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing

Chip Ganassi Racing and driver Kyle Larson will further their sponsorship involvement with credit card processor First Data, the team announced on Monday (Aug. 22).

First Data will serve as the primary sponsor on the No. 42 car as part of a two-race deal for the team at upcoming Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway and Martinsville Speedway.

This is the second major splash for the company of late in regards to its involvement in NASCAR. First Data recently announced the company a deal for the naming rights to the fall Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. The event will be known as the First Data 500 for the next three years.

Previously, First Data served as a sponsor on the No. 1 Chevrolet of Larson’s CGR teammate Jamie McMurray at Martinsville last season. It will return in an associate role with McMurray at Martinsville this year.

“Last year we got a little bit of Chip’s car,” First Data chairman/CEO Frank Bisignano said. “This year we’ve got two cars. It’s all about forward trajectory. They are great guys to be in business with.”

Larson’s team currently carries primary sponsorship from Target and some of its retail partners. However, Target has revealed it will not return after the completion of the 2017 season.

According to team owner Chip Ganassi, First Data could be a partner in 2018 as well and didn’t appear concerned, despite the sport’s uncertain financial climate. “Obviously with Target leaving a lot of people are probably looking at what we have for the future, and I think this (First Data relationship) is a great step.”

Larson echoed the sentiment, saying he was confident funding would be in place for next season. But he made it clear where the focus of the organization is as the playoffs approach: “We have a lot of important things to worry about the rest of this year, a championship being one of them.”

About the author

Frank Velat has been an avid follower of NASCAR and other motorsports for over 20 years. He brings a blend of passionate fan and objective author to his work. Frank offers unique perspectives that everyone can relate to, remembering the sport's past all the while embracing its future. Follow along with @FrankVelat on Twitter.

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