No. 88 confirmed for Earnhardt UPDATE Mountain Dew AMP Energy and the Army National Guard will sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr. when the popular stock-car driver joins Hendrick Motorsports for the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series campaign, it was announced Wednesday at the Dallas Convention Center.
Earnhardt, who helped design his two primary paint schemes and red car-number graphic, will drive the No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolets next season. The cars will see racing action for the first time in February during season-opening Speedweeks at Daytona ( Fla. ) International Speedway.
“To be able to announce our new sponsorship partners, car number and paint schemes for 2008 is a big relief for me, and I know it is for my fans as well,” said Earnhardt, 32, winner of 17 Cup-level races and two NASCAR Busch Series championships. “This year has been full of major decisions and changes, and I'm really happy with the outcome.
“We are aligned with powerful brands, Mountain Dew AMP Energy and the National Guard, each with traits that everybody can identify with. And we are racing with a number that's very relevant to me, the No. 88. It's hard not to already be excited for the 2008 season.”
MOUNTAIN DEW AMP ENERGY:
Pepsi-Cola North America, the maker of Mountain Dew AMP Energy, has been involved in racing since NASCAR introduced its premier division, now known as the NEXTEL Cup Series, in 1949. Mountain Dew was the lead sponsor on Darrell Waltrip's championship-winning Cup entries in 1981 and 1982.
The Mountain Dew AMP Energy sponsorship will provide opportunities for driver-branded products and prominently feature Earnhardt's image in television, radio, print and online advertising, along with at-track activation and in-store marketing. Mountain Dew AMP Energy is charged with an energizing blend of B-vitamins, taurine, caffeine, ginseng and guarana geared to help keep consumers focused and in control.
“Dale Earnhardt Jr. is one of the most popular athletes in the world and his talent is as big as his following,” said Dawn Hudson, president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America. “Mountain Dew's racing heritage runs deep and in many ways it is the original energy drink. AMP is the next evolution of Dew and now it's entering a new exciting chapter with Dale.
“We couldn't be more thrilled to be partnering with Dale , Hendrick Motorsports and the National Guard. We look forward to joining them in victory lane.”
THE NATIONAL GUARD:
The oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard has a longstanding dual mission: to provide the states with units trained and equipped to protect life and property, while serving the nation with units ready to defend the country and its interests around the world.
An active NASCAR sponsor for more than five years, the National Guard's racing initiative focuses on three primary areas: recruiting, retention and branding. The Guard also leverages its program by honoring exceptional soldiers through NASCAR-focused recognition programs.
“Dale Jr. is the real deal,” said Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, director, Army National Guard. “He is authentic, talented and focused on victory, which mirrors what America 's National Guard Soldier is all about. Every mission, every time America calls on us, whether at home or abroad, victory is the only goal that matters.
“We are proud to be partnered with PepsiCo, a great American company that has done so much for the Soldiers of the National Guard, and Rick Hendrick, a NASCAR icon who knows how to win. It is an honor to be a part of one of the greatest teams in the greatest sport in America .”
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS & THE NO. 88:
Both sponsors of the No. 88 Chevrolets are established Hendrick Motorsports partners, as 2008 will mark PepsiCo's 12th season with the organization and the National Guard's second.
“Having a pair of sponsors like Mountain Dew AMP Energy and the National Guard supporting the No. 88 team is just unbelievable,” said Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, who has scored a NASCAR-best 161 Cup-level victories since 1984. “It's a fantastic combination that fits Dale Jr.'s personality and will allow him to be successful at Hendrick Motorsports for many years to come.
“We have terrific sponsors, talented people and sharp-looking cars, so we think Dale Jr.'s fans can really get excited about the future. Now that we've got everything set for 2008, there's a lot to look forward to.”
With 65 wins and 52 poles since 1949, cars carrying the No. 88 have started 1,264 Cup-level events with multiple drivers, including Earnhardt's legendary grandfather, Ralph Earnhardt. The number is currently campaigned by Yates Racing, which has released it for the 2008 season.
ABOUT PEPSI-COLA NORTH AMERICA :
Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America ( www.pepsi.com ) is the refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo Inc. in the United States and Canada . In addition to Mountain Dew and AMP Energy, its U.S. brands include Pepsi, Aquafina, Sierra Mist, IZZE, SoBe, Mug, Tropicana Twister Soda, Tropicana Juice Drinks, Dole and Ocean Spray single-serve juices. The company also makes and markets North America 's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL GUARD:
The National Guard is the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation's longest enduring institutions. The National Guard operates in all 50 states, three territories (Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia . For more information, visit the National Guard's Web site at www.1-800-GO-GUARD.com .
09/19/07 Dale Earnhardt Jr. will have two 8s on his new car to replace the single 8 previously. NASCAR’s most popular driver will be in the No. 88 Chevrolet when he moves to Hendrick Motorsports next season, the team announced Wednesday. Earnhardt Jr.’s car will be sponsored by Pepsi, with the company’s Mountain Dew soft drink and Amp Energy drink featured on the car. The National Guard will also be involved in the sponsorship.