Hendrick Motorsports expects to announce sponsor news in next few weeks

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CONCORD, N.C. — As Hendrick Motorsports celebrates its 25th full season with sponsor Axalta, car owner Rick Hendrick said Tuesday that his team is moving closer to making announcements about sponsors Lowe’s and Nationwide.

Deals with Lowe’s, which sponsors Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet, and Nationwide, which sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s No. 88 Chevrolet, both expire after this season.

“We’re ready to announce Lowe’s probably any time, and we’re in the middle of Nationwide, too,’’ Hendrick said Tuesday after a ceremony for the opening of the 36,000-square foot Axalta Customer Experience Center training and conference center on the Hendrick Motorsports campus.

“Everybody has indicated that they want to continue. We’re very thankful for that. We’ll be making some announcements in probably the next three or four weeks.’’

Lowe’s has been with Johnson, a seven-time Cup champion, and his team since 2001 when he ran three races before running full-time in 2002.

Nationwide joined Hendrick Motorsports in 2015 after having been the sponsor of what is now the Xfinity Series from 2008-14.

Hendrick also said that talks will come later with sponsors about who will take over the No. 88 car upon Earnhardt’s retirement after this season.

“We haven’t talked about that yet,’’ Hendrick said.

Among the announcements also expected to come will be an extension for Johnson, whose contract expires after this season.

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