More than 40 years ago, Mobil 1 motor oil entered the marketplace, making it the first globally available, full-synthetic automotive motor oil. Though it was originally released to safely enhance fuel efficiency, later formulations of Mobil 1 motor oil offered outstanding wear protection over the widest range of temperatures.
Now, more than four decades later, Mobil 1 remains the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand. It has pushed forward the boundaries of automotive lubricant technology, evolving and improving to keep engines running like new, mile after mile, since 1974. From its vital role in the world of motorsports to its many scientific breakthroughs, Mobil 1 motor oil has a rich story with plenty of twists and turns.
In its 17th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series. It also provides primary sponsorships on Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick’s Mustangs at Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) at various Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races throughout the year. The Mobil 1 brand also serves as an associate sponsor for all four SHR drivers at all other races. Since 2011, ExxonMobil has been providing lubricant technology support to the SHR team, which helped drivers Tony Stewart and Harvick earn series championships for SHR in 2011 and 2014.
Bowyer and Harvick along with SHR teammates Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez hope to demonstrate the Mobil 1 advantage on the high banks of Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Saturday night in the 61st annual Coke Zero Sugar 400.
“Daytona is a challenge for everyone, not just the drivers,” said Bowyer, who will pilot the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Mustang at Daytona. “You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that Saturday night in Florida is going to be hotter than you know what. That means those engines, gears and everything are going to be stressed. We feel like we have a competitive advantage over the other teams because our Mobil 1 lubricants have been tested and proven to be the best on the track. It means better horsepower, reduced friction, and outstanding wear protection for our Mustangs. In this sport, even the tiniest advantage is a huge advantage.”
Bowyer said that technology and engineering works in his personal car as well as his racecar.
“Look, I have said several times over the last few years that Mobil 1 is more than a sponsor at SHR,” he said. “Most of the time I come into the 14 hauler, I see Mobil 1 folks testing our lubricants and doing stuff to make us better. These guys are always looking for ways to make things faster and more efficient. I see firsthand that the Mobil 1 lubricant engineering teams know engines better than anyone else in the industry. From racecars to my truck on the farm, Mobil 1 synthetic oil prolongs the life of every car better than conventional oil.”
Bowyer needs the Mobil 1 advantage as NASCAR’s playoffs draw near. Counting Daytona, only nine races remain before the 2019 playoffs begin Sept. 15 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Bowyer occupies the 16th and final playoff spot and is only 15 points ahead of 17th place. A win will secure a playoff position, but a good finish will certainly help, too, as Bowyer is only 68 out of 10th place.
Daytona and Bowyer have enjoyed a love-hate relationship over the years. In 27 career starts, he owns four top-five finishes and 12 top10s and has led 159 laps. He battled for victory in the Daytona 500 in February, when he restarted fifth with two laps to go. Bowyer dove to the inside on the backstretch to grab the third spot, but clipped another car. The contact sent Bowyer into a spin, collecting several cars. The No. 14 team attempted to make repairs but could not continue and he finished 20th.
“It’s time for a victory,” said Bowyer, who arrives at Daytona after finishing 37th at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois last weekend. “We ran really well in the Daytona 500 and had a chance at the end. I expect we’ll have our chances again Saturday night. We have to take advantage. We know we are a good team and certainly want to get on a roll in these upcoming races to have momentum going into the playoffs.”
In addition to Mobil 1, Bowyer’s No. 14 will carry the decals of Rush Truck Centers again this weekend in Daytona. Rush Truck Centers has been the primary partner on the No. 14 team since Bowyer arrived at SHR in 2017 and has been with the organization since 2010. The Texas-based company has used Bowyer and the team to appeal to NASCAR fans as one way to recruit the technicians it needs to operate the largest network of commercial truck and bus dealerships in the country, with locations in 22 states.
According to Rush Truck Centers, the trucking industry is expected to need 200,000 diesel technicians over the next 10 years to keep up with maintenance demands. Rush Truck Centers wants to make NASCAR fans aware of these opportunities and knows that, with Bowyer’s background, he is the right guy to help get the message out.
“Mobil 1 and Rush Truck Centers are two longtime SHR partners and really important to what we are doing,” he said. “There would be nothing better than to get a win Saturday night in Daytona. That would be a helluva a fireworks show after the race.”
CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:
How predictable is a Daytona race?
“It’s one of those things where you can be leading coming to the white flag and finish 15th to 20th. I’ve done that. I’ve also been way back in the pack, then somehow picked my way through it on the last lap and got a good, solid finish. It’s a rollercoaster, just like it has been with everybody. You go from thinking, ‘I got ’em!’ to ‘Oh, no! How have we done so wrong?’ I mean, it’s just one of those emotional rollercoaster races where you just never know what’s going to happen. I had the Daytona 500 won in 2010, and they literally used the Bondo out of the haulers to fix the track. I didn’t win that year but, before that happened, I just knew I had it won. Whether it’s a track surface, somebody hitting a jet dryer and blowing up, or coming down to a green-and-white checkered at the end, you just never know the recipe and what it’s going to take to win there.”
What are your first memories of racing at Daytona International Speedway?
“I remember Richard Childress hiring me and sending me to an ARCA test at Daytona. My eyes are this big – ‘Daytona? Really?’ To be able to roll through that tunnel and see those high banks and Daytona, that’s your ‘I’ve made it’ moment and it’s still that way today. Every time you go there in February and roll through those tunnels and see them high banks, it just gives you chills. You know what I mean? You come back in July, you don’t have – those are sweats, that’s sweat, those aren’t chills anymore. If you get chills in July, you need to go lay down, you’re too hot. But so much fun to be able to go back there, and every single year it’s just meaningful to get on those high banks and be able to compete at Daytona because, for me, it’s always been that moment of, ‘Hey, man, I got here.”
The big wrecks are common to Daytona. Do you get mad when you are in an accident?
“There is a lot of emotion in our sport. Again, the sport’s dangerous. Tracks are different. We have short tracks. We have mile-and-a-half tracks. We have the big tracks we used to call restrictor-plate tracks where we see cars flying through the air like lawn darts. You just have a different variety of situations you’re in all the time throughout the year, so sometimes the level of – I guess I call it – fear. Call it whatever you want, it changes your emotion as you get out of a wreck or something like that. If it was something that somebody put you in harm’s way, that honestly could have hurt you badly or even potentially killed you, the level of anger and emotion is definitely different.”
What does Mobil 1 bring to SHR?
“Mobil 1 provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all Stewart-Haas Racing cars have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. Every time we receive a new formulation from Mobil 1, it exceeds our expectations.”