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Harvick's Shell logos called into question



Kevin Harvick likely won't be wearing his Shell sponsorship logos quite so prominently this weekend at California Speedway.

Harvick's team has been asked to utilize logos representing the Pennzoil automotive lubricant part of the company more prominently instead of the dominant Shell logo associated with the company's gasoline in an effort to play down any perceived competition with Sunoco, the official fuel of NASCAR.

Sunoco has exclusive rights to the fuel category at a NASCAR track, and company officials raised the logo matter after Harvick won both the Busch and Nextel Cup series races wearing prominent Shell logos at Daytona International Speedway.

As a result, Harvick will apparently be sporting smaller Shell logos at this weekend's events at California Speedway.

"Obviously we've got a lot of partners and constituencies in the garage area that are important to the entire industry, and when these things come up we want to work through them as best we can," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Thursday morning.

This is the second sponsorship conflict team owner Richard Childress faces where's his team's backers are restrained because of the sanctioning body's own sponsorship agreements. Cingular wireless telephone service was grandfathered in as a sponsor for Richard Childress Racing's No. 31 Chevrolet with driver Jeff Burton after Nextel took over sponsorship of NASCAR's Cup series. Cingular has since merged with AT&T and its name is disappearing, but the AT&T logos cannot appear on the car because that company was not part of the ruling that kept Cingular in the sport.

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