DOVER, Del. — Dale Earnhardt Jr., a fervent Washington Redskins fan, won’t have to drive a Philadelphia Eagles car next weekend at Pocono Raceway after all.
The NFL is prohibiting it.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Axalta issued statements Friday explaining why the paint scheme, which would highlight Axalta’s All-Pro Teachers program, could not be used.
An NFL provision states that club marks cannot be used in connection with the promotion or presentation of another sport. That forced the Axalta All-Pro Teachers logo to be removed from the paint scheme of the No. 88 car. Earnhardt will race with the traditional Axalta paint scheme at Pocono.
The Philadelphia Eagles issued a statement: “Having been reminded of the NFL’s policy, we understand and respect their point of view. While we are disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to increase the visibility of the Axalta All-Pro Teachers program through the Pocono 400 this year, we remain committed to supporting STEM curriculum and the educators who inspire our youth through our relationship with Axalta.”
Stated Axalta: “Without doubt, we are deeply disappointed that the Axalta All-Pro Teachers car will not run. As a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr., we were thrilled about plans for him to drive a car that gave the Axalta All-Pro Teachers program and STEM education more visibility by promoting the program on the track. We remain steadfast in our commitment to teachers, STEM education, and our partnerships with Hendrick Motorsports, Dale Jr., and the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Earnhardt said he was looking forward to driving the car even with the logos of the Philadelphia Eagles on it.
“I was disappointed because of the opportunity to honor the teachers was going to be pretty cool,” he said. “We’re still going to have some teachers at the race and some of the Eagles guys are going to come out. Everything is kind of as is except for the car.”