Target Ending NASCAR Sponsorship; Kyle Larson Staying With Chip Ganassi

Kyle Larson and the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing team will sport a much different look in 2018.

That’s because Target, Larson’s majority sponsor, will drop its 16-year NASCAR sponsorship after this season, ESPN reports. The news comes roughly a year after Target ended its long-running sponsorship of Ganassi’s IndyCar team.

But despite Target’s decision, CGR owner Chip Ganassi says the immensely talented Larson isn’t going anywhere.

“Kyle Larson is a once-in-a-generation talent,” Ganassi said in a statement, via ESPN. “He and the No. 42 Chevrolet will still be on the track for a long time. The only difference is that they will have different colors.”

So why is Target, which has sponsored Ganassi’s IndyCar and NASCAR outfits for a combined 28 years, puling the plug on motorsports? Well, it’s so the retail giant can shift its focus to the most popular sport on planet Earth.

“As we looked to evolve our sports marketing program, soccer provided Target with a unique opportunity to reach our guests in new places, and at all levels of the sport,” Target said in a statement, via ESPN. “Through partnerships with Major League Soccer, Minnesota United FC, US Youth Soccer and the U.S. Soccer Foundation, Target has been able to create meaningful connections with players, fans and families, no matter how they participate in the sport.”

The news certainly is a blow for CGR which, thanks to Larson, has a legitimate chance to earn its first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. Still, Ganassi had nothing but good things to say about the “Red Bullseye.”

“I have had an unbelievable relationship with Target for 28 years, and I have to thank them for their longtime support,” Ganassi said. “It has been so much more than a team-sponsor relationship. They have their fingerprints on so much of what Chip Ganassi Racing has become.”

Larson currently sits 48 points behind Martin Truex Jr. for first place in the Cup points standings.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images

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