Army to sponsor Newman's car next season

Updated: October 9, 2008, 3:56 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- There was a somewhat awkward moment on Thursday as Stewart-Haas Racing announced that the U.S. Army will sponsor Ryan Newman's car next season.

It came when the U.S. Army representative was asked if he factored in that Gene Haas, who co-owns the team with Tony Stewart, was in jail for not paying taxes that in part would have gone to support the military.

The Army representative danced around the subject, saying other things were factored in. Stewart said Haas doesn't own the team, that Haas Automation did.

Reminded that Haas owns Haas Automation the press conference continued.

The bottom line, Stewart-Haas' gain was Dale Earnhardt Inc.'s loss. The U.S. Army opted to leave the No. 8 that will be driven by Aric Almirola next season. That leaves DEI with only one fully-funded car, the No. 1 of Martin Truex Jr.

Stewart-Haas now has two fully-funded teams. It was announced earlier this year that Office Depot and Old Spice will sponsor Stewart's car.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter