The return of Carl Long to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series was not what he or his team had hoped for. The team arrived at Kansas Speedway on Friday morning with the sponsorship form Veedverks. However, the Veedverks sponsorship logo was removed from the car before it hit the track.
Long makes his return to the garage after an eight-year hiatus. At the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2009, Long had an illegal engine that was 0.17 cubic inches too big. He was assessed a $200,000 penalty. The fine was not paid resulting in a ban from the Cup garage, although permitted to race in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series, which he did on a part-time basis.
NASCAR confirmed last week that Long “satisfied all necessary requirements to compete.”
Before heading to Kansas Speedway, Long made a plea on Facebook for $25,000 for a company to sponsor here.
“I put out a number, here it is,” Long said. “Most standard deals are about 300 grand, $250,000. I know I’m not going to be Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., and all that kind of stuff, but this week coming back, I’m going to get a lot of press. And if someone can get us [$25,000], we can get here.”
With the help of Veedverks and other sponsorship, Long was able to make the trip to Kansas Speedway.
Earlier in the week, Long and his team submitted the sponsor and paint scheme for the weekend to be approved by NASCAR. When a team submits the sponsor and scheme, the Race Operations and Event Management team received the submission. From there, they go to a committee which approves the sponsor and scheme. Long received his approval on Wednesday.
However, the sponsor was misspelled on the initial application. When the team arrived to Kansas Speedway, NASCAR saw the correct spelling and researched the company. They found that it was a marijuana vaping company. NASCAR asked Long and his team to remove the logo before hitting the track for practice.
When news arose about the removal, a social media dissension arose.
Here is what the Carl Long Motorsports Facebook Page stated about the situation:
“I am the one who did not take the time to research while misspelling the company name to NASCAR. I am not savey in knowing difference in chemicals in hemp vs pot or cornbread for that matter. I am just excited to be able to participate on the cup side again. We hope to be able to get other drivers and sponsors to join us in future races.”
“I will offer a settlement for not promoting them on the car. The media has blown this up, veedverk has shown the power Nascar still has as great way to advertise companies and products. I personally do not use vape , or cannabinoid products , but many people do, and thats their choice. My job is to advertise, oh and go fast. Nascar does not allow this on our cars, we have a protocall to follow. We messed it up by misspelling a name and no research. The excitement of people participating and sponsoring us gives me hope we can do more.”
Veedverks posted on social media that their entire marketing budget and two month’s of operating cash were “stolen from NASCAR”
"Veedverks is a small, veteran owned and operated business that is creating American manufacturing jobs. We entered this sport while other sponsors are leaving in droves. Now we know why. We hoped this sponsorship opportunity would provide the return on investment that NASCAR claims to deliver. But even though our logo is no longer on Carl's hood, we remain Carl's primary sponsor. Unlike NASCAR, our word is our bond," says Travis Lippert, CEO of Veedverks, in a press release. "We are proud to sponsor Carl's return and to educate NASCAR fans and officials about the legality and health benefits of hemp oil, such as our vape pens. Veedverks has been severely damaged by NASCAR's actions today. We are just thankful they haven't stolen the tires we bought him."
The press release also stated:
“Veedverks is a hemp-derived vape pen company, which manufactures compliant products that are legal on a Federal level. This change in NASCAR's official sponsorship approval reveals an underlying disrespect and disapproval of the American farmers working tirelessly to bring back hemp as a sustainable agricultural and industrial crop. Additionally, NASCAR decision clearly illustrates how NASCAR works with veterans, small businesses, under funded race teams. Most importantly, it casts doubt upon the integrity of the relationship of race teams and their sponsors, who can no longer in good faith commit marketing budgets to a race team without fear of NASCAR reversing decisions at the last minute without reimbursement or apology.”
Long will start in the 40th position in tonight’s Go Bowling 400 from Kansas Speedway due to not making a lap in qualifying.