CORRECTION: Auto Club Insurance has been a continuous title sponsor at Auto Club Speedway since 1997, a total of 18 years, making that the longest relationship between a track and an insurance company. Originally a sponsor of the K&N Series when the track opened in 1997, they have most recently been the sponsor for the NASCAR Sprint Cup event there since 2003.
Continuing the longest-running relationship in NASCAR between a track operator and an insurance company, Nationwide on Friday night will announce that it has extended its sponsorship deal with SMI by three years through '17.
The company will make the announcement at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR national-series races. Nationwide, which made its entrance into motorsports in '99 when it originally signed with SMI, will remain as the exclusive insurance company at two tracks — Charlotte Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway — where it will receive assets including hospitality and digital signage. The Columbus-based company also will receive hospitality at SMI's six other tracks that host NASCAR races.
Nationwide Dir of Sports Marketing Jim McCoy said that the insurer pushed for exclusivity at CMS and BMS because it has been No. 1 in market share in North Carolina for the last 25 years, and Bristol "strategically is a great market for us because it's in Tennessee and close to North Carolina and Virginia." Financial terms were not disclosed.
Nationwide last year ended its run as title sponsor of NASCAR's secondary series, now called the Xfinity Series. As part of a three-year pact unveiled last year, the company now is the primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy for 21 Sprint Cup races this season. Adam Stern/SportsBusinessDaily