Hendrick Motorsports announced in May that Nationwide Insurance would serve as a primary and associate sponsor on driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet over the next three Sprint Cup seasons, beginning in 2015.
Fortunately for the untold number of fans who support NASCAR’s most popular driver, they won’t have to wait until next year to see Earnhardt in his new colors.
The Hendrick organization has announced that Earnhardt will debut the Nationwide sponsorship on his car in next weekend’s Sprint Cup regular-season finale at Richmond International Speedway, a .75-mile track where Earnhardt is a three-time Sprint Cup race winner.
One of five drivers with a season-high three victories, Earnhardt Jr. last won at Richmond in May 2006 while driving for Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Earnhardt, whose other Richmond victories came with DEI in 2000 and 2004, has yet to pick up a win for Hendrick Motorsports at the Virginia short track. He finished seventh at RIR when the Sprint Cup Series last visited in late April.
"Dale is having a season to remember, and Nationwide is excited to launch our new long-term relationship as a primary sponsor this season as he pursues the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship," Nationwide chief marketing officer Matt Jauchius said in a Hendrick team release. "We think fans will like the new look of the No. 88 car when they see it hit the track next week in Richmond."
Richmond is the only race in 2014 that Earnhardt is scheduled to campaign the Nationwide paint scheme. Nationwide will be the primary sponsor on the No. 88 Chevy for 12 Sprint Cup races in 2015, and 13 events in both 2016 and 2017.
Fans can get their first look at the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS on Sept. 3 at 1 p.m. ET via the new @Nationwide88 Twitter account that will provide updates related to Earnhardt and his Hendrick Motorsports team.
"I’ve worked with Nationwide for years, but never as a primary sponsor," said Earnhardt, who has been featured in Nationwide’s national advertising campaign since 2009. "Having them on board with Hendrick Motorsports and the No. 88 team is a big opportunity, and I really appreciate them inviting me to help design the car.
"I’m excited for the fans to see it, and look forward to kicking off the relationship at one of my favorite racetracks."
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