NASCAR: Kyle Larson Lands New Sponsors Ahead of Daytona 500

Kyle Larson will make his official return to the Cup Series on Feb. 14 when he suits up for the Daytona 500. He and Hendrick Motorsports are preparing for this race by adding two sponsors to the fold. Freightliner and machine tool maker Cincinnati Inc. will serve as the primaries for the 2021 Cup Series season.

Hendrick Motorsports announced the move on Tuesday with a press release. The company said that both Cincinnati Inc. and Freightliner will expand their NASCAR programs to become full-time associate sponsors of the team. Cincinnati is HMS' Official Metal Fabrication and Additive Equipment Provider and joined the team in 2019 on a 10-year agreement. Freightliner recently agreed to a contract renewal that will keep the truck manufacturer associated with HMS through the 2023 season.

"We're pleased to have Cincinnati and Freightliner grow their respective partnerships with us," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "The best way we can show our appreciation is with high performance on and off the racetrack. NASCAR has tremendous momentum going into 2021, and Kyle and the No. 5 crew will certainly be one of the most exciting teams to watch this year. We look forward to seeing Cincinnati and Freightliner at the front of the field with them."

When NASCAR reinstated Larson from his suspension and opened the door for him to sign with Hendrick Motorsports, there were questions about whether he would land sponsors. Previous companies in Chevrolet and McDonald's had cut ties with him after he used a racial slur during a virtual race, but the car manufacturer released a statement after his reinstatement saying that it supported NASCAR's decision.

While Cincinnati Inc. and Freightliner are both associate primary sponsors, the two organizations will not make their paint scheme debuts just yet. NationsGuard will be the primary sponsor of the No. 5 team for the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14. The company will also serve as the primary sponsor during the Daytona Road Course race on Feb. 21 and the Homestead-Miami Speedway race on Feb. 28.

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Larson will strive to secure a spot in the NASCAR playoffs during the season-opening Daytona 500. He will join a stacked field of competitors with the same goal, including HMS teammates Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and William Byron. The race begins at 2:30 p.m. ET and will air on FOX.