Jasper Engines to end Nextel Cup sponsorship

Jasper Engines & Transmissions will no longer sponsor a car in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series but will continue supplying drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch with engines, transmissions and differentials.

Travis Kvapil drove the No. 77 Dodge for Penske-Jasper Racing last season, when Kodak became the primary sponsor. After Kodak dropped its sponsorship earlier this month, Jasper decided to follow suit.

"We won't have our name front and center on the car, but we now have the opportunity we've worked years for," Jasper advertising manager Mike Pfau said Thursday. "We view it as a way to get to do what we do best, and that is build drive-train components."

Jasper Engines based in the southwestern Indiana town of the same name was the primary sponsor of the No. 77 car from 1989 through 2003.

"Our decision was played by Kodak's," Pfau said. "Their decision made it easy for us. Our goal since we first got into (racing) was to become a drive-train supplier."

Jasper has also dropped its primary sponsorship of Brendan Gaughan's No. 77 ride in the Craftsman Truck Series, although the company will provide Gaughan with differentials and transmissions. Jasper also will supply the Rusty Wallace-owned Busch Series car.

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