Army Guard to end NASCAR sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr.

DOVER, DE - MAY 30:  Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the #88 National Guard Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

DOVER, DE – MAY 30: Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives the #88 National Guard Chevrolet during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 30, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

NASCAR’s most popular driver may be having a great year on the track winning three races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series including the latest one this past Sunday at Pocono Raceway, but his Hendrick Motorsports team received some bad news Wednesday. The Army National Guard released a statement saying that after “undergoing an intensive internal review” the Army National Guard will make changes to its sports sponsorship approach to recruitment marketing. These substantial changes include an end to its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Graham Rahal in the Indy Racing League (IRL).

While the statement wasn’t clear as to when the sponsorship will end, a statement from Hendrick Motorsports via email late Wednesday night said the team had not been notified yet and the contract is through 2015:

“Our team has a contract in place to continue the National Guard program at its current level in 2015. We have not been approached by the Guard about potential changes and plan to honor our current agreement.”

The statement from the Army Guard said it spent $32 million on its NASCAR sponsorship and $12 million on its IndyCar sponsorship for 2014. Future programs will rely on much smaller budgets.MORE>>>

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