Nextel Cup

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Report: After 45 years, NASCAR’s Cup may have reached its end

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The Cup for NASCAR’s premier racing series may have run dry.

According to Adam Stern of SportsBusinessDaily.com, the sanctioning body will soon have a new entitlement sponsor to replace Sprint, but the new series name may not include Cup, such as the “(fill in the blank) Cup Series.”

NASCAR’s premier series has carried the “Cup” moniker since 1971. Over the ensuing 45 years, it has been known as the Winston Cup, Nextel Cup and Sprint Cup.

“Sources close to the talks said the organization has been pitching prospects on a deal without the word ‘Cup’ in the new name,” Stern wrote. “In at least some sales pitches, NASCAR has referred to the Cup Series as its ‘premier series’ with no reference to the word ‘Cup.’ ”

If that happens, Stern’s story continued, it “would represent a notable brand change if it comes to fruition. Whether NASCAR had pitched any companies on a deal that would keep ‘Cup’ included was unclear.”

NASCAR officials declined comment on the report, Stern added.

NASCAR continues to hold talks with several potential series entitlement sponsor replacements for Sprint. Recent reports claim discussions have reached an advanced stage with at least one potential suitor, Monster Energy.

If those talks end with an agreement, it is possible that a Monster Energy Cup or Monster Cup will not necessarily be a foregone conclusion.

“If Monster landed the deal and ‘Cup’ was dropped from the name, the new series would thus have a name along the lines of the ‘NASCAR Monster Series,’ ” Stern wrote.“Sources said the motivation was giving whoever lands the new title sponsor a fresh start.”

NASCAR officials have not said when the new premier series entitlement sponsor will be announced.

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