Nationwide sponsoring Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Cup car

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has long been featured on the commercials for Nationwide Insurance which play between NASCAR race and practice sessions. Now the two are taking their relationship onto the track.

On Friday it was announced that Nationwide Insurance would become a sponsor of Earnhardt Jr’s No. 88 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series. The insurance company will end its sponsorship of NASCAR’s No. 2 division which is currently titled the “Nationwide Series” at the end of the 2014 season.

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“The Earnhardt family has trusted Nationwide for their insurance needs for more than 35 years, and Dale Jr. has a positive impact on our brand’s reputation, and brings pride to Nationwide members and our associates,” said Matt Jauchius, chief marketing officer for Nationwide Insurance, in a statement released Friday morning. “Expanding that relationship to incorporate the prestigious operations at Hendrick Motorsports and collaborating with Rick Hendrick and his team is a great fit for Nationwide Insurance.”

The 39-year-old Earnhardt won the season opening Daytona 500 and currently sits fifth in the Sprint Cup Series standings.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with Nationwide and really believe in their products and services,” said Earnhardt, who has been featured in Nationwide ads since 2009. “It’ll be fun to work with them in a new way, and I know everyone on the team is looking forward to the partnership. They’ve invested in our sport and built a strong reputation with NASCAR fans, and this opens up doors to do even more great things.”

Nationwide will be Earnhardt’s primary sponsor for 12 Sprint Cup races in 2015 and 13 events in both 2016 and 2017. It will be an associate sponsor on the No. 88 in all other Cup races over the next three seasons.