Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser, and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Racing announced today that they have extended Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s contract with the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. The announcement was made in front of 7,000 ...
Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser, and Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Racing announced today that they have extended Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s contract with the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet. The announcement was made in front of 7,000 wholesalers at their national sales convention in Orlando, Florida.
"I am really excited, over the last several years I have made a lot of great friends at Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser," said Earnhardt. "It does my heart good to know we are going to continue the relationship."
The contract Earnhardt has with Budweiser is the second most financial beneficial agreement in the garage, only outdone by the Dupont sponsorship of Jeff Gordon's No. 24 Hendrick Chevy. It's a relationship that made Earnhardt nervous five years ago when he first put his 'John Hancock' on the arrangement.
"I don't think you can compare Dupont with Budweiser," said Earnhardt. Budweiser covers such a broad spectrum of sports not only as sponsors in every region, but they are number one not just in my book but the numbers speak for themselves."
"I was nervous and timid coming into the program in 1999.and I have just had a blast ever since."
The timetable of the extension was not released, but it is a multi-year deal equitable to all parties. Garage insiders speculate that the contract is on a yearly sliding scale, and worth in the neighborhood of $20-24 million dollars.
As far as Earnhardt's lackluster run at Vegas last weekend, he was optimistic.
"We opted out of a test for Vegas," said Earnhardt. "Thinking we would need to save that test for the final ten races of the season. We are concerned how we ran last week, in the last 48 hours we place a lot of emphasis on where we are going to test, and how to remedy and learn what we need to learn."
The poor 35th place result dropped Earnhardt from first to seventh in championship rankings. With the sponsorship deal in place, and a long-term future secured with Budweiser it is one less worry on Earnhardt's mind as he competes for his first Cup series title.
"We are already in a state of mind to start he race in Atlanta instead of beat each other up with what we just did (at Vegas)," said Earnhardt.
"I like sticking with things I am used to," Earnhardt continued. "And I am used to driving the Budweiser Chevrolet."