NASCAR: Nationwide Insurance expanding support for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

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This morning, Nationwide Insurance has announced that it has expanded its pact with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Hendrick Motorsports, and will become the 88 team’s majority sponsor from 2015-2017.

NWI will now serve as primary sponsor for Earnhardt in 21 Sprint Cup races during each of the next three seasons.

Back in May, NWI was announced to be in that role for 12 races in 2015, and then 13 races in both the 2016 and 2017 campaigns.

“We’re thrilled to be deepening our partnership with the Hendrick Motorsports team,” said NWI’s chief marketing officer, Matt Jauchius, in an HMS release. “We look forward to seeing Nationwide on the No. 88 for NASCAR’s biggest races over the next three seasons.”

NWI is getting an early start on its backing of NASCAR’s most popular driver this weekend at Richmond International Raceway, where Earnhardt is previewing his blue and white NWI paint scheme for 2015.

“That Nationwide has already elected to grow the sponsorship sends a clear message about the opportunities they see and how well our teams are working together,” HMS owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement.

“It’s quickly become a strong relationship, and we’re committed to building on that foundation and delivering results in every facet of the program.”

Earnhardt himself called NWI’s decision “extremely gratifying” and added that “having this kind of support and seeing so many positive things happening around the team feels really good.”

BMW confirms IMSA, WEC GTE line-ups for 2018

BMW Motorsport
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BMW has confirmed its driver line-ups for the 2018 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and 2018/19 FIA World Endurance Championship campaigns.

In an announcement made at its end-of-year Sports Trophy event on Friday night, BMW firmed up its roster across its factory WEC team and its customer RLL Racing IMSA squad.

Two of the 2018 BMW M8 GTEs will enter the WEC next year, joining a hotly-contested GTE-Pro class that already features Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Ford.

BMW factory drivers Antonio Felix da Costa, Nick Catsburg, Augusto Farfus and Martin Tomczyk will share the two cars across the 13-month ‘super season’.

The quartet will be joined by Tom Blomqvist, Alexander Sims and Philipp Eng for the 24 Hours of Le Mans

In IMSA, the RLL Racing team will once again field Sims and John Edwards, who will be joined by the incoming Connor De Phillippi and Jesse Krohn.

BMW also confirmed on Friday night that Tom Blomqvist would see out the Formula E season with its Andretti-affiliated team, having been benched for Kamui Kobayashi in Hong Kong.