Alex Bowman’s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet will have a new majority sponsor for the 2020 season.
Nationwide Insurance, which joined forces with the No. 88 car with Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2015 and remained with the team after the fan favorite retired from the sport in 2017, informed Hendrick that it will not be returning for next season.
Nationwide will finish out the 2019 season, which has been a breakout of sorts for Bowman, posting three straight top-3 finishes from April 28 to May 11, and will continue its personal relationship with Earnhardt Jr.
“As Nationwide’s business needs evolve, we are adjusting our marketing resources to ensure that we are aligning to those new business priorities,” the company said in a statement.
“With that in mind, we have informed Hendrick Motorsports of our decision to step away from our sponsorship of the 88 team at the end of the year. We have not made this decision lightly, given our 20-plus year involvement in NASCAR and our deep appreciation for Rick Hendrick, Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports, and the millions of NASCAR fans we have engaged with over the years.
“Nationwide will continue to leverage our sponsorship for the rest of 2019 and have many special activations planned. In 2020, we will host partners at select NASCAR races and continue our relationship with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“We thank Mr. Hendrick for a wonderful five years and wish him and the entire Hendrick Motorsports organization the very best in their future endeavors.”
Bowman sits 10th in the Monster Energy Cup standings, but still is seeking his first top-circuit victory. He is signed through the 2020 season. Team owner Richard Hendrick released the following statement on the announcement:
“We understand the changing dynamics of business, and we’re grateful to the entire team at Nationwide for their wonderful partnership over the past five years. Whether it’s been winning races, competing in the NASCAR playoffs or our recent on-track performance, we have accomplished so much together. Off the track, we have been just as successful, from collaborating on national advertising campaigns to supporting the important mission of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It has been a pleasure to work with all of their people and to help drive Nationwide’s business forward.
“Alex is having a breakout season and showing the world just how talented he is. He’s signed through next year (2020) and will be a big part of our future. The momentum we’re building as a sport is due in large part to NASCAR’s leadership and a unique combination of emerging personalities like Alex, established stars and the exciting shows our racing is putting on. There’s tremendous confidence in the product we have to offer our fans and partners.”
Thumbnail photo via Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports Images