‘Junior Blue’: What Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s 2015 Nationwide-sponsored Sprint Cup car will look like

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Nationwide is officially on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s side.

Just a half-hour before NASCAR announced that Comcast’s XFINITY brand in 2015 will replace Nationwide Insurance as the entitlement sponsor for what is now known as the Nationwide Series, the Columbus, Ohio-based insurance company revealed what Earnhardt’s Sprint Cup race car will look like carrying NWI colors.

Those colors — which we’re calling “Junior Blue” — will be heavy on blue and white, similar to the so-called “Petty Blue” on Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola.

Nationwide has been the entitlement sponsor for the NNS the last seven seasons. Due to changes in marketing strategy, it elected to let its current contract with NASCAR lapse at the end of this season.

In turn, NWI will become one of Earnhardt’s primary sponsors in the Sprint Cup Series starting in 2015, part of a three-year deal. Nationwide will essentially replace National Guard, which is ending its motorsports sponsorship programs in NASCAR and IndyCar (Graham Rahal) at the end of this season.

MORE: Nationwide Insurance gets early start on Dale Jr. primary sponsorship

Fans will get a sneak preview of sorts of that new sponsorship and the colors in this weekend’s final qualifying race for the Chase for the Sprint Cup at Richmond International Raceway.

Nationwide Insurance will also increase its associate sponsorship presence in 2015 on the cars of Danica Patrick and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

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Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.