NASCAR team drops sponsor deal with metal band Slayer because 'beliefs do not align'

This Pods car was supposed to be sponsored by Slayer at Bristol. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Apparently Rick Ware Racing had no familiarity whatsoever with the metal band Slayer before it announced a potential sponsorship deal with the group.

RWR, a backmarker team in NASCAR’s Cup Series, added a fourth car driven by J.J. Yeley for Saturday night’s race at Bristol. The car was originally supposed to be sponsored by Slayer and its last world tour, but instead had decals for a storage company on the side of it on Friday.

What the heck happened? Well, the team says it realized that its “beliefs do not align” with Slayer’s, a band with albums titled like “Hell Awaits,” “God Hates Us All,” and “Christ Illusion.”

“Rick Ware Racing and Slayer announced a partnership for Bristol Motor Speedway several weeks ago,” the team said. “There were no contracts or monetary transactions between either parties. Unfortunately, Slayer’s brand image and beliefs, and Rick Ware Racing and our long-time partners’ image and beliefs do not align. As a team owner, we thought it would be best to forgo the partnership. RWR wishes nothing but the best to Slayer and their fans and wishes the band a successful Final World Tour.”

Yes, you read that statement correctly. Rick Ware Racing is admitting that it announced a sponsorship deal with the band without anything signed or finalized. And it’s also admitting that it announced a sponsorship deal with the band without doing some cursory research that would have revealed this alleged belief conflict.

It’s quite possible that you did more background research on the lawn service you hired to cut your grass than RWR did before announcing the Slayer deal.

But hey, RWR is relatively thriving at the back of the Cup Series field despite the failed Slayer deal. The fourth car for Yeley puts the team at the four-car limit in the Cup Series for the weekend and RWR has recently started fielding three cars on a regular basis. While the team may not be competitive — it’s never gotten a top 10 in 122 Cup Series starts — it’s certainly surviving. And it’s getting more attention for a failed deal with a metal band than it would have if the sponsorship went through.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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