NASCAR Cup: HScott Motorsports bows out of 2017 competition
No. 46 HScott Motorsports Chevrolet of Michael Annett (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)
By AMANDA VINCENT
HScott Motorsports announced on Monday that it would not compete in NASCAR in 2017.
“Over the past several months I considered a number of options for moving forward with the team. Regrettably there are no viable sponsor/driver options immediately available to allow the team to participate in 2017,” HScott Motorsports owner Harry Scott Jr. said in a statement released by the race team.
“One thing I learned about NASCAR is that it is a ‘people business.’ I will forever be grateful to the men and women who worked tirelessly to make HScott Motorsports successful,” Scott said. “This includes our dedicated employees, sponsors and partners. We were fortunate to have the support of world-class sponsors like Brandt, DC Solar, Fraternal Order of Eagles, Pilot Flying J, and 5-Hour ENERGY. Our racing program would not have been possible without the assistance of Rick Hendrick, Hendrick Motorsports, and Chevrolet.
“I love this sport and being part of it. I invested in NASCAR because I truly believe it represents the best racing competition in the world and the best people in all sports. Looking back, I will always be especially proud of the unprecedented success of our NASCAR K&N Series teams, including four consecutive championships and for the lifelong friendships that were forged over the last seven years. My hope is that we were able to develop drivers that will thrive at the highest levels for years to come.”
HScott fielded two cars full-time during the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season — the No. 15 Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer and the No. 46 of Michael Annett. Bowyer’s deal with the race team was for one year only, as it was a layover, of sorts, between Michael Waltrip Racing closed-up shop at the end of the 2015 season and Bowyer’s move to Stewart-Haas Racing to drive the No. 14 as a replacement for SHR co-owner and retiring driver Tony Stewart in 2017. Annett has alreay announced a return to full-time Xfinity Series competition to drive a car for JR Motorsports next season.
HScott Motorsports also lost the primary sponsors that were on its two cars in 2016. Pilot/Flying J has had a long relationship with Annett, and is going with him to JR Motorsports. Bowyer isn’t taking the other primary, 5-Hour Energy, with him to Stewart-Haas Racing, but 5-Hour Energy already has announced a move to an expanding Furniture Row Racing to sponsor a second car there to be driven by 2017 series Rookie of the Year candidate, Erik Jones.
HScott owned one charter, the one that was used by its No. 15 team in 2016; it has been sold to Premium Motorsports. The No. 46 team raced with a charter HScott Motorsports had on a one-year lease from Premium Motorsports. That charter has since gone back to Premium Motorpsports and has been sold to Furniture Row Racing for Jones’ car.
Recently, Bowyer field a lawsuit against HScott Motorsports claiming he wasn’t paid for two months and didn’t receive other money he was owed for bringing sponsorship (5-Hour Energy) to the team. Bowyer had a relationship with 5-Hour Energy from his time at MWR. The suit has since been settled, with the amount undisclosed.