Could the iconic rainbow colors of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 soon be seen on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet?
On Tuesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced Axalta Coating Systems has agreed to a multi-year contract extension, but will move its branding to the No. 88 Chevrolet driven by NASCAR's most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr, next season.
Axalta will become primary sponsor of the No. 88 for 13 races, an increase of three races over this year.
The agreement extends a multi-faceted partnership – now in its 23rd full season – that began in November 1992 when the company first sponsored driver Gordon and the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team.
Gordon, in his final season as a fulltime Cup driver, will continue to work with Axalta as a spokesperson and global business advisor.
“We began a journey 23 years ago with Hendrick Motorsports and a young driver named Jeff Gordon. Eighty poles, 92 wins and four championships later, we are proud of the run we’ve had with Jeff,” said Nigel Budden, Axalta vice president and head of its North America business.
“Now, we are delighted to continue our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and to adorn the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevy SS with the Axalta logo in 2016. As our slogan says, ‘We Paint Winners,’ and by joining Dale we will continue to do so for years to come.”
"A unique relationship"
Earlier this month, Axalta broke ground on a new 45,000 square-foot Customer Experience Center on the campus of Hendrick Motorsports campus in Concord, N.C.
“For 23 years, they’ve recognized the opportunities NASCAR provides and understood how it drives value for their business,” team owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “It’s a unique relationship that’s evolved with the times and has been consistently effective.”
Earnhardt, 40, has 25 career Cup victories, including two this season. He is one of 12 drivers to advance to the second round of the championship Chase.
“For me, it’s meaningful to work with a sponsor that’s been so committed to our sport and has such a rich history in NASCAR,” Earnhardt said. “Continuing the partnership is special for all of us, and I’m already excited about what the car will look like.”