Hendrick Motorsports Confirms Dale Jr. Will Have New Sponsor in 2008: UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports announced that long-term contractual commitments to existing sponsors will preclude Budweiser from continuing as primary sponsor of the car driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he joins the organization next season. "We have agreements in place with sponsors for the 2008 Sprint Cup season, which prevent us from having a relationship with Budweiser," said team owner Rick Hendrick. "Honoring our commitments is important to us. The trade-off is missing an opportunity to bring Budweiser, a marquee brand synonymous with NASCAR and its fans, into the fold." On June 13, Earnhardt Jr. signed on to race for Hendrick Motorsports beginning in 2008, but primary sponsorship of his team remains undecided. No timetable has been established for an announcement. "Budweiser has sponsored Dale Jr. for nearly a decade, and we wish him the very best," said Tony Ponturo, vice president of global media and sports marketing for Anheuser-Busch Inc. "Budweiser will remain an active sponsor of NASCAR, and we look forward to building upon the legacy of the iconic Budweiser red car in 2008 and beyond." "To climb into that red Budweiser car each weekend has always been a privilege," Earnhardt Jr. said. "Although Budweiser and I will be unable to continue our partnership beyond this season, I remain committed to driving for Bud the rest of this year, and will continue to make it my beer of choice. I'm a race car driver. All I can do is drive as hard as I can for my fans and sponsorship partners, and give my best effort each weekend."(Hendrick Motorsports PR)(7-13-2007) UPDATE: Earnhardt announced at Chicagoland Speedway that beyond ending his association with Budweiser on the hood of his car, he will end his personal services deal that was to run through 2008. Leaving Budweiser is another sign that Earnhardt's new deal will be with PepsiCo Inc., likely the Mountain Dew brand or a combination of several Pepsi products that include Gatorade, because the soft drink company can't be associated with a beer company.(ESPN.com)(7-14-2007) I picked up this news on Jayski. I had also heard about it on Nascar earlier this week. I guess this means if he can't retain the number 8 beyond this year,which I personally don't believe he will,then the Dale,Jr era as everyone has known it is officially over after this season.