Are Lowe’s days numbered at SMI track in Charlotte?

Lowe's Companies Inc. will continue as title sponsor of Lowe's Motor Speedway in 2009, executives from both companies announced today.

The home-improvement retailer obtained naming rights for the track, formerly known as Charlotte Motor Speedway, in 1999. Lowe's will retain naming rights at the superspeedway as well as marketing exclusivity in the home-improvement category through a one-year contract extension. The initial agreement was for 10 years, but this renewal is just for 1 year so that appears to point to possible trouble and the end may be near.

The original 10-year deal was for a total of $35 million. The story also says that Lowe's gives up its category exclusivity at other SMI tracks, with the exception of Atlanta Motor Speedway, where the company will sponsor an unspecified NASCAR race. This is another sign Lowe's is setting up for an exit.

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