Tag:Hendrick Motorsports
Posted on: September 1, 2011 10:25 am
Edited on: September 1, 2011 12:46 pm

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick agree to extension

Posted by Brian De Los Santos

No worries about Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s contract talks with Hendrick Motorsports dragging into next season and becoming a distraction.

(Getty Images)The team announced Thursday that Earnhardt has agreed to a five-year contract extension which will take him through the end of the 2017 season.

“We’re excited to have everything formalized and announced,” said team owner Rick Hendrick. “Junior and I had a handshake agreement months ago, and we let other people work out the finer points from there. It was as simple and smooth as it gets.

“My feelings haven’t changed since the day he first signed with us. I’m committed as ever to putting him in the best possible situation to be successful and compete for wins and championships.”

Earnhardt has been with Hendrick Motorsports since the start of the 2008 season.

“It’s great to have it all wrapped up so quickly and far in advance,” said Earnhardt. “Rick and I were on the same page from the first time we talked about it, so there wasn’t any sense in waiting. There were never any questions or hesitations from either of us. It was just, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’

“I’m really happy at Hendrick Motorsports and enjoy working with everyone here. The team’s been very competitive this season, and we’re all excited about the direction of things. I want to make sure we’re giving our fans something to cheer about for a long time.”

Pete Pistone: Hendrick the only place for Earnhardt Jr.

There were high expectations for Earnhardt when he signed up with Hendrick as he teamed with perenial championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. But rather than reach new heights, Earnhardt has stuggled.

His best season was his first, when he turned in one win (his only win in the 88 car to this point), 10 top fives and 16 tops 10s. He made the Chase, but ultimately finished 12th in the final standings.

He had the worst season of his career in 2009, finishing 25th in the final standings with just two top fives and five top 10s. His 2010 season wasn't much better with three top fives and eight top 10s and a 21st-place finish in the final standings.

Earnhardt has enjoyed a bit of a resurgence this season after being paired with Gordon's former crew chief Steve Letarte. Though he's without a win, he's currently ninth in the standings and appears likely to make the Chase for the first time since 2008.

More NASCAR coverage

Posted on: December 6, 2010 11:19 am
Edited on: December 15, 2010 12:20 pm

Gordon's new primary scheme loses flames

The new primary paint scheme for Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Campaign car was unveiled Monday and gone are the flames fans have become accustomed to over the past decade.

So what do you think?

Posted on: November 23, 2010 5:49 pm

New crew chiefs for Gordon, Martin, Earnhardt Jr.

Hendrick Motorsports has wasted no time in preparing for the 2011 season, announcing crew chief changes for three of its four Sprint Cup teams.

No worries for Jimmie Johnson fans, Chad Knaus remains entrenched with the five-time defending Cup champions. But it's wholesale changes elsewhere.

Jeff Gordon will be paired with Alan Gustafson, who had been working with Mark Martin .

Martin will be paired with Lance McGrew, who had been crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt Jr. will be paired with Steve Letarte, who had been crew chief of the No. 24 car since Sept. 2005.

Another signficant change is that the 88 team will move into the same shop with Knaus, Johnson and the 48 team. The 24 team will move out and into the facilities with the No. 5 team.

"This will improve us as an organization, across the board," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We had a championship season (in 2010), but we weren't where we wanted and needed to be with all four teams. We've made the right adjustments, and I'm excited to go racing with this lineup."

Posted on: October 28, 2010 10:19 am

DuPont will continue to sponsor Gordon

A day after Hendrick Motorsports announced AARP's Drive to End Hunger campaign as Jeff Gordon's primary sponsor for 22 races in each of the next three years, the other piece of the puzzle fell into place as DuPont will continue to serve as primary sponsor in 14 races in that same three-year period.

DuPont has been with Gordon since his debut race in 1992.
Posted on: October 27, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2010 5:04 pm

More on Gordon's 'Drive to End Hunger' campaign

As previously reported, AARP is sponsoring Jeff Gordon's No. 24 car starting in 2011 with its 'Drive to End Hunger campaign'. It will serve as the primary sponsor on the car in 22 races in each of the next three seasons. Car owner Rick Hendrick says he'll announce the remaining sponsorship lineup at a later date.

Here's more on the deal from the Associated Press:
The American Association of Retired Persons plans to use its sponsorship to raise both money and awareness of hunger in America. Statistics given by AARP on Wednesday said an estimated 51 million Americans who go hungry each night, and six million are over the age of 60.

Jo Ann Jenkins, president of the AARP Foundation, said the numbers are startling to most Americans, and a the partnership with Gordon should lead to increased donations. But earning charitable donations from NASCAR fans - according to demographics released by NASCAR in 2007, 53 percent of its fan base have an average income of below $50,000 - could be difficult as they still try to recover from the recession.

Jenkins said the typical donation to the AARP Foundation is small, in the $10-to-$20 range, and the investment on Gordon's car will pay for itself.

Jenkins would not disclose how much the AARP Foundation is paying, but the sponsorship is for 22 races next year beginning with the Daytona 500. The industry going rate is estimated to be $15 million for a full 36-race schedule, and Budweiser is believed to have paid $10 million for 22 races with Richard Childress Racing beginning next season.

"I don't think we have any doubt in our mind that the initial investment the AARP has put into this, the money raised from this is going to far exceed that investment," Jenkins said. "This not only is about raising the money and using the initial investment from AARP, but how do we solve this in a country rich as ours so that no one in this country is going hungry."

Wednesday's announcement ends a season-long sponsorship search for Hendrick Motorsports. The team needed to replace a portion of races that Gordon's longtime sponsor, DuPont, will no longer fund.

Hendrick said the car is full for 2011, but would not reveal what level DuPont and Pepsi will have in filling out the remaining 16 races - two of which are non-points events - on the schedule. He said an announcement on the remainder of the schedule is coming.

Posted on: October 25, 2010 11:23 am
Edited on: October 25, 2010 4:44 pm

And Jeff Gordon's new sponsor will be ...

It's not Wal-Mart. Forget Slurpees at 7-11. And nope he's not in good hands with All-State.

Instead, Gordon will receive sponsorship for an anti-hunger campaign coordinated through the AARP Foundation. The funding of Gordon's No. 24 is expected to be split with the campaign as well as Pepsi and Dupont, which is trimming its sponsorhip following this season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon will be sponsored next season by an anti-hunger campaign coordinated through the AARP Foundation.

The multiyear deal will be announced Wednesday by Hendrick Motorsports. A person familiar with Hendrick's sponsorship agreement confirmed the deal to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the official announcement had not been made.

The deal first was reported Monday by the Charlotte Observer .

The campaign will be the first cause-related sponsorship of its kind in NASCAR, which has struggled to attract new business since the economic downturn began late in 2008. Sponsorship dollars have been dramatically reduced, and many teams, Hendrick included, had to let go of employees while adjusting to smaller budgets.


Posted on: October 13, 2010 3:11 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 3:11 pm

7-Eleven a possible sponsor for Jeff Gordon

Interesting tid-bit from SI.com's Bruce Martin this week that seems to make some sense.

Last week, 7-Eleven announced it wasn't returning to sponsor Tony Kanaan in the IndyCar Series. I didn't really think much about it at the time, but Martin points out that the company is being linked to Jeff Gordon .

Gordon's longtime sponsor Dupont is looking to cut back, leaving owner Rick Hendrick looking for a new company to fill the void. 7-Eleven couldn't certainly get more exposure in NASCAR than it did in the IndyCar Series and Jeff Gordon seems like he could be a perfect fit. But it also costs a little more cash to sponsor a Cup car. I'm fairly certain that if 7-Eleven did hook up with Gordon it would be part of a spit sponsorship package. But imagine all the Slurpees they could sell on race day.

-- Brian De Los Santos

Posted on: September 7, 2010 12:36 pm

Wal-Mart pulls out of talks to sponsor Gordon

A report surfaced last week that Wal-Mart was pulling out from a possible primary sponsorship deal with Hendrick Motorsports on the No. 24 car of Jeff Gordon . I wasn't sure I was ready to believe it, but owner Rick Hendrick confirmed the news over the weekend at Atlanta

That does't mean Wal-Mart won't be taking a deeper dive into the NASCAR pool. According to the SportsBusiness Journal, Wal-Mart is still in talks to become the exclusive mass retailer for NASCAR apparel.

Wal-Mart had been deep into discussions with Hendrick Motorsports to sponsor Gordon’s car, but Wal-Mart’s interest in a primary sponsorship on a single car has waned.

One source said Wal-Mart is in a re-evaluation process to determine the right place for its sponsorship spending and that it could still develop personal-services deals with an array of drivers, instead of going with a primary sponsorship of a single driver.

Industry sources added that word of a potential deal between Wal-Mart and Hendrick had created a significant level of angst among the other Sprint Cup teams. They had expressed concern over how Wal-Mart, as the licensed mass retailer for the trust, would manage its relationship with all of the teams when it was a primary sponsor for Gordon, and whether Gordon’s merchandise would receive favorable display in the stores.


Dupont is in the final year of its deal with Hendrick Motorsports and while it wishes to remain in NASCAR, it's looking to cut back on spending. That left Hendrick looking for a new primary sponsor for Gordon for the first time since he started his Cup career in 1992.

It was sounding like a deal with Wal-Mart was nearly sealed until a recent executive shake-up at the retail giant. I have not yet heard any good rumors as to who might be in line behind Wal-Mart, but it is definitely rare for a driver of Gordon's stature to not know at this point where his primary sponsorship stands for the next season.

During his news conference at Atlanta, Hendrick spoke about the sponsorship situation with his teams and said some announcement might not be made until November.


"GoDaddy.com is coming back so this about fills us up. There is one more sponsor that we haven't announced. But we're pretty much done."


"It's definitely the toughest I've ever seen it. Of course I guess the economy is as tough as I've ever seen it and what you have is most everybody is wanting to cut back some if they can. So when you've got one that's willing to up the ante a little bit, it's pretty neat. They've been on all the cars and now they've got the primary races too. I've wanted to see them do it for a long time because I think there are some good marketing opportunities for us not only in the racing, but in the racing too."


"It's like anything else. You talk to people and they were someone we were talking to. We got down the road a bit, but timing is kind of one of those things that I think possibly we'll do something down the road with them but it won't be next year. It's good though, to see companies have interest. And I guess at the end of '08 and '09 it was pretty dismal. You didn't see, if someone wasn't already out here on a car, you didn't talk to anybody. And now there is interest from people that haven't been in the sport. They're kind of doodling around with it. So it's good. It feels better today than it did in the first half of '09. So that's encouraging to see. And it's real encouraging to have people re-up. That's good too."


"Yeah, that's still ongoing. We have a good relationship with them. It's a timing issue and we're still working on a lot of stuff."


"I don't really want to go into that. We've got a lot of our folks coming back and I'm not really sure how many we've got committed in what area. But we're getting close. We'll be announcing in the next 60 days. In the past we would announce mid-year but companies now waiting later and later to make announcements. We plan to have everything done by the end of November."


"Oh, it could be. I enjoy that if I can afford it (laughter). It's worked real good for me in the past. I think that probably if I could win Daytona or run up front with the Hendrick cars logo, it would be something I'd really like to do one day. But we don't know if that'll ever happen."


"Oh, the 12; like 2012. I’m trying to get 2011 done. Gosh (laughter). We're always talking to people and you run a lot of what-if's and you have a tremendous amount of discussion. I think the exciting thing and the important thing is in the first half of '09, there was nobody talking about anything. And now there are a lot of people talking and things happening. In general, the feeling is much better and people are looking beyond what we've been through. They're not looking backwards anymore; they're looking forward. But the economy is still tight and people are still trying to stretch their dollars; and we've got to be fairly creative to be able to make it work for everyone."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com