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Harvick asked to change uniform, helmet

By Jim Utter

McClatchy Newspapers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It appears there was something that failed inspection after Sunday’s Daytona 500 — the uniform and helmet worn by race winner Kevin Harvick.

Facing complaints from Sunoco, the official fuel supplier of NASCAR, the sanctioning body has been in discussions with Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing team to address concerns over Shell-Pennzoil’s sponsorship on Harvick’s uniform and helmet.

In response to those complaints, Harvick can no longer wear the driver’s helmet used Sunday, which featured a prominent Shell logo, and his uniform will have to be redone to include fewer prominent Shell logos.

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Before the Daytona 500, sources confirmed Harvick was asked by NASCAR if he would wear a jacket over his uniform during introductions, which he agreed to do.

During Speedweeks, officials with Sunoco lodged several complaints with NASCAR regarding the Shell logos on Harvick’s helmet and uniform. They hit a crest when Harvick’s victories in Saturday’s Busch race and Sunday’s 500 produced several newspaper headlines utilizing the Shell name and many photographs.

Sunoco signed a 10-year deal in 2003 to become the official fuel supplier for NASCAR’s three national series—Nextel Cup, Busch and Trucks.

As part of the deal, no new fuel suppliers are allowed to sponsor teams. Shell-Pennzoil was allowed to join RCR and Harvick’s No. 29 Chevrolet this season because the sponsorship was for its automotive lubricants.

A message seeking comment from Sunoco’s media contact was not returned.

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