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Nationwide Changes NASCAR Sponsorship to Focus on Sprint Cup

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nationwide is ending its seven-year run as entitlement sponsor of NASCAR’s second-tier series at the end of the 2014 season.

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Nationwide plans to remain in NASCAR as an official sponsor under a new contract that runs through 2017. The insurer also plans to shift its attention to marketing programs in the Sprint Cup Series and become the presenting sponsor of the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award.

NASCAR is searching for its third sponsor in series history. Anheuser-Busch sponsored the No. 2 series from 1982 through 2007, when Nationwide came aboard.

Nationwide recently sponsored Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s car in Sprint Cup races at Bristol and Richmond. Stenhouse is a two-time Nationwide Series champion, and the insurer could increase its involvement in the Cup series in an expanded role with Stenhouse.

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