Nationwide will end its seven-year run as entitlement sponsor of NASCAR's second-largest series at the end of the 2014 season and refocus its motorsports spending to other areas of the industry.
NASCAR announced a new deal Wednesday to extend Nationwide's contract as its official auto, home, life and business insurance partner through 2017. The insurer also becomes the presenting sponsor of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.
Nationwide want to spend more on track sponsorships and in the Sprint Cup Series, where it recently funded the car of two-time Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. at Bristol and Richmond. Nationwide has a three-race commitment with Stenhouse this season, and has agreed to sponsor four Sprint Cup races next year.
NASCAR will search for just the third sponsor since the its No. 2 series debuted in 1982. Anheuser-Busch sponsored the series through 2007, then was replaced by Nationwide in 2008 in a deal worth at least $8 million a year to NASCAR.
Sprint's sponsorship of the top Cup series was extended in 2011 and runs through 2016.
- The Associated Press