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DATE News (chronologically)
09/03/07
nascar
Mountain Dew and Amp to sponsor Earnhardt Jr?  UPDATE #5 Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports are expected to announce later this month PepsiCo Inc. products Mountain Dew and Amp energy drink are his primary sponsors for next season, sources confirmed Sunday.

Earnhardt said Friday that he has a number and sponsors in place for next season but that everyone will have to wait to find out what those are.

"When we're ready to announce it, it won't be on pit road after a qualifying lap," Earnhardt said after his qualifying run at California Speedway. "We'll do it in a press conference."

Earnhardt said that the announcement would come within a couple of weeks and that he's happy with the decisions that were made.

When asked whether crew chief Tony Eury Jr. would be following him to Hendrick Motorsports, Earnhardt said: "We don't have an announcement, but Tony Jr. is working in that direction." ESPN.com

07/05/07 Pepsi's decision to pull its sponsorships of International Speedway Corp. racetracks was the first step in the company's plans to sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he drives at Hendrick Motorsports next year.

According to industry sources, Pepsi's Mountain Dew soft drink now is the leader to sponsor Earnhardt Jr. next year.

ISC, which includes the Daytona International Speedway and half of the tracks on the Nextel Cup Series schedule, will have its deal with Pepsi phased out as contracts expire. Pepsi's deal with Daytona includes Saturday night's Pepsi 400, but that contract expires after the race.

Pepsi plans to re-direct the money it spends with racetracks to Earnhardt Jr.

Hendrick Motorsports is talking with several companies to sponsor Earnhardt Jr., the most popular driver in racing. Budweiser, Earnhardt Jr.'s current sponsor, is working to remain with him, but Pepsi's Mountain Dew brand has become the clear front-runner.

DuPont currently has the most-expensive sponsorship deal in the sport at $20 million with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports. Mountain Dew is expected to challenge, if not beat, that standard.  SavannahNow 

06/30/07 NASCAR Nation is on pins and needles waiting to hear who will sponsor the ride at Hendrick Motorsports of Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2008. The deal could fetch $28 million, vs. roughly $15 million this year, fueling a growing consensus that Budweiser will bow out of its eight-year relationship with Earnhardt at season’s end. Chatter from both NASCAR and Wall Street is making an Anheuser buyout of Hansen Natural, the Corona, Calif., maker of the popular energy drink, Monster Energy, increasingly likely. Officials at the companies were not available for comment. Mentioned as a possible successor in its own right to the King of Beers' deal with Earnhardt, Hansen’s Monster Energy drink has been distributed by Anheuser-Busch for over a year. In five months this year, sales have increased more than 67% on average vs. 20% for rival Red Bull, which is making its NASCAR debut this season as a primary sponsor. The test drive of Hansen’s high-growth "functional beverage" business makes an Anheuser takeover the next logical step. Forbes.com

06/23/07 Both Red Bull Toyota drivers failed to qualify for Sonoma.......again.  Makes sense for Red Bull to pull the plug on this losing effort and put it behind the biggest name in NASCAR - Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Having a sponsor own a team in NASCAR makes no sense whatsoever.

06/20/07 Another possibility is Monster Energy who has had a recent relationship with Dale Jr. and JR. Motorsports. Monster is all set to sponsor the late model car that Supercross legend Jeremy McGrath will drive for JR. Motorsports this year for a 10-race run.

06/19/07 Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (Sundays, 9pm/et on SPEED) welcomed Darrell Waltrip on Sunday June 17 to talk about Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s move to Hendrick Motorsports. One comment was about Dale Jr.'s 2008 sponsor:
Dave Despain: (There's) a great picture on the Internet. Somebody has already designed the paint job for the car. How quickly these things happen (with) the magic of the computer. There is your #5 Dale Jr. Budweiser car, all laid out for next year. Photoshop indeed.
Darrell Waltrip: That can't be true because I don't think it's going to be Budweiser.
Dave Despain: That was one of my questions. You don't think it will be Budweiser. Do you know who it will be? We've heard a shoe deal. We've heard a credit card deal from one of your buddies. What's it going to be?
Darrell Waltrip: Yeah, wrong. It'll probably still be something you could drink. That would my guess.
Dave Despain: "Something you could drink," he said, hinting.
Darrell Waltrip: And it won't be in a red can. FoxSports

[Editor's Note:  If Waltrip is right, Pepsi or Red Bull come to mind.  Pepsi already has a deal with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick and we could see Red Bull dropping Allmendinger and their own Red Bull team for Earnhardt in a wink.]

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