Dale Earnhardt Jr. picks up Axalta as sponsor

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Axalta will move to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet next season in a new three-season deal as a primary sponsor for 13 Sprint Cup races annually.

It’s an increase of three races per season over its current deal with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon. Axalta also will be featured as a major associate sponsor throughout the season.

Axalta, formerly known under the DuPont brand, has been associated with Hendrick since November 1992, sponsoring Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet and creating the iconic rainbow paint scheme. Gordon, who will retire after this season, will remain an Axalta spokesman and global business advisor after 2015.

“We began a journey 23 years ago with Hendrick Motorsports and a young driver named Jeff Gordon. Eighty poles, 92 wins and four championships later, we are proud of the run we’ve had with Jeff,” Nigel Budden, Axalta vice president and head of its North America business, said in a release. “Now, we are delighted to continue our relationship with Hendrick Motorsports and to adorn the hood of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevy SS with the Axalta logo in 2016. As our slogan says, ‘We Paint Winners,’ and by joining Dale we will continue to do so for years to come.”

Last month, Hendrick and Axalta broke ground on a 45,000-squarefoot Customer Experience Center on the team’s Concord, N.C., campus.

“Axalta has built a model sponsorship program,” team owner Rick Hendrick said. “For 23 years, they’ve recognized the opportunities NASCAR provides and understood how it drives value for their business. It’s a unique relationship that’s evolved with the times and has been consistently effective. We’re very proud of what we’ve accomplished as partners and look forward to more successes together with Dale and the No. 88 team.”

Said Earnhardt: “Axalta and Hendrick Motorsports have an incredible story. For me, it’s meaningful to work with a sponsor that’s been so committed to our sport and has such a rich history in NASCAR. Continuing the partnership is special for all of us, and I’m already excited about what the car will look like. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity.”