Hendrick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. close to signing new sponsor

BROOKLYN, Mich — Hendrick Motorsports is close to signing a new sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s No. 88 Chevrolet.  Team owner, Rick Hendrick said that the deal most likely will not be done in time for the July 6 race at Daytona — the first race that the car is unsponsored but they are getting close, and that the sponsor is “new” to NASCAR.

Hendrick said the National Guard likely would be on the car at Daytona. “We’re going to have to switch some stuff around,” Hendrick said before the start of Sunday’s race at Michigan International Speedway.

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Earnhardt Jr. started the season with 13 races that lack sponsorship. Hendrick said that the deal is “pretty neat”, and that he thinks the team is in “good shape.” He would not comment on the name of the potential sponsor.

“There hasn’t been a lot of new sponsors in the sport just because of the economy and the way people go to market, a combination of a lot of things. [But] there’s always been a lot of interest in him. [Earnhardt Jr.]” Hendrick said.

Earnhardt Jr. is 8th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, and has been voted NASCAR’s “Most Popular Driver” for the past ten seasons. It is hard to believe the car would remain without sponsorship for any number of races.