Richard Childress Racing and Okuma America Corporation, the U.S.-based affiliate of Okuma Corporation, a world leader in the development of computer numeric controls (CNC) and machining technology, have extended their partnership through 2017.
The RCR/Okuma partnership began in 2000. RCR's No. 29 Chevrolet with driver Kevin Harvick will carry the Okuma logos in the primary sponsor positions for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. It will mark the first time Okuma has been the primary sponsor of an RCR car in Sprint Cup Series competition.
"The Okuma/RCR relationship has been mutually beneficial and we are excited to continue it," said Jim King, President and Chief Operating Officer, Okuma America Corporation. "We've been able to provide cutting-edge technology to a leader in the motorsports industry and learn more about our machines and how we can improve manufacturing across all industries. Using the Okuma Technology Center at RCR to show our machines in action provides us with expanded opportunities to build and enhance customer relationships. We feel winners partner with winners and we are proud to contribute to Richard Childress Racing's success."
The RCR and Okuma partnership has grown significantly over more than a decade. From four Okuma machines and five employees that first year, the RCR Okuma Technology Center is now a 17,000 square foot facility, housing 12 Okuma machines and employing 15 technicians, engineers and management staff.
The RCR OTC manufactures more than 3,000 different race parts with a total output in 2011 forecast to reach nearly 100,000 units. RCR and Okuma have worked together to specially design and develop CNC machinery to produce intake manifolds, cylinder heads and camshafts.
"The partnership between Okuma and RCR has been an integral part of RCR's success over the years," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "The competitive nature of our sport dictates that we produce more and more quality, dependable race parts on our own premises. It's one of the key factors in providing a competitive advantage for both RCR and ECR Engines. The Okuma Technology Center is also the perfect facility for Okuma to showcase its products in a high performance, real-world setting."