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September 4, 2013

AROUND THE TRACK: Earnhardt Jr.'s car finally fully funded

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have a new look during the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship as Hendrick Motorports has finally sold the remaining inventory on his No. 88 Chevrolet.

Time Warner Cable signed on as primary sponsor for five races this season, beginning Saturday night at Richmond in the final race before the 12-driver Chase field is set. Time Warner will also sponsor Earnhardt at Chicago, New Hampshire, Kansas City and Charlotte.

It closes out the inventory on the No. 88, which opened the season with races to sell. Hendrick was able to fill the void over the course of the year when National Guard picked up an additional eight races, pushing its total to 29 total races. Diet Mountain Dew also sponsors five events.

Time Warner's sponsorship is part of an expanded sponsorship package with Hendrick Motorsports that saw the company add one additional race with Kasey Kahne, bringing its total to six this year, while adding five races in 2014 and 2015. The additional races means the No. 5 Chevrolet is sold out for 2014 for Kahne, who has been featured in Time Warner's "Enjoy Better" national brand campaign.

"This is the second time in the last year that Time Warner Cable has expanded its commitment to Hendrick Motorsports and NASCAR," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "We're now leveraging more of our assets, from both Hendrick Motorsports and Hendrick Automotive Group, to drive even greater value into what's been a very effective program. It's a terrific partnership that works on multiple levels."

Time Warner Cable will become a marketing partner with Hendrick Automotive Group to collaborate on offerings specific to the automotive industry.

"We've been extremely happy with the results from our NASCAR initiatives," said Jeffrey Hirsch, Time Warner Cable's executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "The on-track performance of Hendrick Motorsports is well documented, but they've also put significant resources into building a world-class marketing operation. It's been a team effort, and we're seeing terrific exposure and return."

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