Hendrick: Lowe’s sticking with JJ

Rick Hendrick has squelched rumors regarding the stability of the Lowe’s sponsorship.

Lowe’s Home Improvement stores have been a staple on Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet since the five-time champion entered the Sprint Cup Series for a limited three-race run in 2001.

Hendrick said on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway that he has a verbal commitment from the North Carolina-based company. The deal is expected to run through the end of 2014.

"Lowe’s will be back," Hendrick said. "I don’t know where that came from, but they’ll be back. Wishful thinking, maybe, by some of the other folks, but they’ll be back.

"We’ll button it up, but it’s early."

Last year, Hendrick Motorsports placed all four of its cars in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. However, the company has inventory to sell, most notably 15 races on the No. 88 Chevy SS piloted by NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Hendrick offered that several potential sponsors have entertained backing Earnhardt but the brands would conflict with existing categories within the company.