Axalta is sticking with Hendrick Motorsports through 2022.
The company will sponsor 25 races per season over the next four seasons between the No. 24 car currently driven by William Byron and the No. 88 car driven by Alex Bowman. Axalta is on Byron’s car for 15 races in 2018 and Bowman’s for 10. Next season, those numbers will be 13 and 12.
Axalta first joined forces with Hendrick Motorsports when the company was known as DuPont, the iconic sponsor of Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 car. After Gordon’s retirement following the 2015 season, Axalta served as a co-primary sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2016 and 2017.
The announcement of Axalta’s contract extension comes a week after Lowe’s said it would be ending its sponsorship of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson at Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson has been sponsored by Lowe’s in every race since he entered the Cup Series in 2002.
But the coatings company has what Lowe’s doesn’t — a business-to-business relationship with team owner Rick Hendrick’s car dealerships. B2B deals have become fruitful enterprises for top teams and companies over the last few years in NASCAR. Pennzoil is used in Roger Penske’s automotive empire. Valvoline has a similar deal with Hendrick. Smithfield cited the presence of Jimmy John’s as Kevin Harvick’s sponsor as a reason why it moved to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018.
Not every team has a luxury of those business-to-business offerings, however. While it’s undoubtedly a good thing for Hendrick Motorsports that Axalta is sticking around, it’s a deal that’s fairly unique in the motorsports world and shouldn’t be seen as a counterweight to Lowe’s decision to leave Johnson. The circumstances are far different.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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