Uncertain “Political Environment” Cause Kyle Busch and Richard Childress Racing to Take a Major Sponsorship Hit

Published 04/18/2024, 12:13 AM EDT

Follow Us

USA Today via Reuters

There has always been a stereotype against cannabis products, despite them being legal for medicinal and recreational purposes in several states. But how does that affect NASCAR or a driver here? Richard Childress Racing was on a sponsor-signing spree, but it turns out that one of their major partners has an important update for the season.

3CHI, a company specializing in producing hemp-driven cannabis products, used to be a common sight on the #8 car of Kyle Busch. But the black, white, and gold paint schemes may be gone entirely next year if things don’t go better for them in the future.

Big Revelation: 3CHI available for only one race this season


Article continues below this ad

In February, 3CHI announced an extension of their partnership with Richard Childress Racing after speculation that they wouldn’t continue as primary sponsors. The extension marked the third year of the partnership between 3CHI and Richard Childress Racing. Back then 3CHI stated that the company follows all federal requirements for full legal compliance on all of its products. Interestingly, when they made the announcement, it wasn’t revealed for how many races 3CHI would be the primary sponsor. But now we have an answer.

With the election right around the corner, things are a bit on edge. Questions over 3CHI’s future with NASCAR loom in the background, and if they are unable to continue, Richard Childress Racing will have a big hole to fill. On their official website, 3CHI cited the “political environment” around their products as their reason to sponsor Rowdy only in the championship race this season.

“After a groundbreaking first 2 seasons where 3CHI was the primary sponsor for the RCR owned 8 car and saw 3 wins in its paint scheme, 3CHI is taking a reduced sponsorship position due to the political environment surrounding hemp-derived cannabinoids, 3CHI’s main product. Because of this, 3CHI is only sponsoring one race in 2024 and that’s the championship race in Phoenix,” the statement read. On their website, the company also addressed questions about their future in NASCAR.

A statement titled ‘The Future of 3CHI & RCR/NASCAR’ talked about their desire to be a part of the NASCAR community and mentioned the support from RCR and Busch. The statement read: “We get asked often about our future in NASCAR and the truth is it’s a fluid situation given the political uncertainty in the cannabis/hemp industry. To be clear: the support of RCR, NASCAR executives, Kyle, the fans, and the entire NASCAR community has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive and we’ve loved every second of our time in the sport.”

This update does put the future of the RCR-3CHI partnership in doubt. While RCR has taken on big sponsors this season, 3CHI’s reduced role, being the primary sponsor does dampen the enthusiasm for them, especially when their president sounded excited about the new deal in February.

The pre-season enthusiasm about the partnership was high at Richard Childress Racing


Article continues below this ad


Get instantly notified of the hottest NASCAR stories via Google! Click on Follow Us and Tap the Blue Star.

Follow Us

After RCR and 3CHI announced the extension in February which saw the latter serve as a primary sponsorship, Richard Childress Racing president, Torrey Galida said that the company was an innovator in their field and that they were proud to continue their partnership.

“Much like RCR, 3CHI has been a pioneer in their industry while focusing on technology and innovation. Through their partnership with RCR, 3CHI has been able to highlight their innovative spirit and introduce their products to a new and passionate fan base. We’re proud to continue the relationship in 2024,” he said, as per On3.

Justin Journay, chief executive officer of 3CHI also highlighted their growth. He said, “Our relationship with Richard Childress Racing continues to take 3CHI to higher levels. On-track, it’s been fun to see the success of the No. 8 team and Kyle Busch, and off-track it’s been incredibly powerful to showcase the best cannabis company in the world and highlight 3CHI’s vast array of cannabinoid products and science-backed formulations.”


Article continues below this ad

But now the future of the company, at least in NASCAR, is uncertain, for all the legal reasons. But there is probably no reason for Richard Childress Racing or Kyle Busch to worry. Before the 2024 season got underway, they signed several big-name sponsors like Global Industrial, Rebel Bourbon, and Bet MGM.

Sponsorships in NASCAR are already very crucial and as such RCR enthusiasts will keep an eye on the situation with 3CHI in the coming time.


Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh


One take at a time

Nilavro Ghosh is a NASCAR Writer at EssentiallySports, where he is known for his creative yet easy-to-read writing style. Before taking up his role as a sports journalist at ES, Nilavro has written for some of the top publishing houses, like The Telegraph. While most journalists stop at covering live events and taking the news to the readers, Nilavro goes the extra mile to give fans a platform for them to express their thoughts through his 'race reaction' pieces.
Show More>

Edited by:

Shivali Nathta