No. 12 has Verizon sponsor, but no logo

CONCORD, N.C. -- Verizon will fully fund the No. 12 Sprint Cup car of Penske Racing this season but the company's logo and name will not be allowed on the paint scheme.

"The [Cup] car will be identified and branded as the Penske Dodge Charger," said Walt Czarnecki, the executive vice president of Penske Corporation.

That means David Stremme, who replaces Ryan Newman in the No. 12, could find himself promoting Verizon even though the name can't be on the car, thanks to a 2004 ruling after Nextel became the top series sponsor (it was since become Sprint). That ruling allowed existing wireless communication companies with teams and tracks to keep their sponsorship, unless a team or company changed hands.

Verizon took over Alltel, the long-time sponsor of the No. 12, on Jan. 9.

Earlier, the ruling forced Richard Childress Racing to seek a replacement for Cingular Wireless on the No. 31 car of Jeff Burton after it merged with AT&T and kept the AT&T name.

Czarnecki doesn't believe Penske will have to find a replacement for Verizon because of the multi-year deal it signed with Alltel.

"Once the business transaction occurred NASCAR was kept fully informed of what was transpiring," he said. "NASCAR has made it very clear, even with Alltel, what their requirements were as far as branding on the cars and branding at the track.

"We're working with NASCAR and the people at Verizon. I believe we'll be able to accommodate all of those requirements."

Verizon will be on the No. 12 Nationwide Series entry driven by Justin Allgaier.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.