With Junior gone, apparently Budweiser isn’t going to stick around Dale Earnhardt, Inc. either. Though it had been reported that Budweiser still had a year left on their contract with DEI, word in the NASCAR community has Budweiser announcing on Tuesday that it will be the primary sponsor of Kasey Kahne’s number 9 Gillet Evernham Motorsports Dodge in Sprint Cup competition next year.
Dodge will not return as a sponsor for the team, but is not reducing its financial commitment to NASCAR. Dodge will spend the money elsewhere in their NASCAR program.
Meantime, next Wednesday is expected to see announcement of Pepsi and Mountain Dew as the sponsors of Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for next year. The car number is to be revealed, too. The announcement will be made in Dallas during the annual meeting of Pepsi distributors. Pepsi has a long sponsorship relationship with Hendrick, including sponsoring Busch Series cars for Jeff Gordon.
A secondary sponsor on Earnhardt’s car is expected to be the National Guard, another sponsor with an existing relationship with Hendrick. It has been sponsoring the number 25 car driven by Casey Mears. That car is being eliminated by the team and Mears is moving into the number 5 car driven this year by Kyle Busch and continuing with the Kellogg’s sponsorship currently supporting the 5 car.
The only thing the Hendrick organization will say about the new car number for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. is that the number “8” will be in it. Hendrick has trademark applications pending for 81, 32, 38, 58, and last week applied to trademark 28.