Dale Earnhardt Jr. Set to Lose National Guard as Sponsor

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Set to Lose National Guard as Sponsor
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Dale Earnhardt Jr. might be in the throes of one of his best seasons as a Sprint Cup driver, but he could be losing a sponsor in the National Guard.

Jeff Gluck of USA Today shares the latest on the apparent shift in sponsorship for Earnhardt:

[Rick] Hendrick said the team 'has a contract in place to continue the National Guard program at its current level in 2015.

'We have not been approached by the Guard about potential changes and plan to honor our current agreement.'

During the 2014 season, the National Guard spent $32 million to sponsor Junior in the Sprint Cup Series, according to Gluck. As a primary sponsor for 20 races, The Guard is featured throughout the car but has not signed a recruit thanks to the sponsorship.

In a press release on the National Guard's official site, Maj. Gen. Judd H. Lyons announced the reasons behind the move.

"Significantly constrained resources and the likelihood of further reductions in the future call for more innovative and cost-effective ways of doing business," the acting director of the Army National Guard said.

There will likely be several new sponsors looking to replace the National Guard. The Hendrick Motorsports driver was already the 11-time Most Popular Driver heading into the season and has been surging in 2014.

Nothing is set in stone at this point, but Bob Pockrass of Sporting News explains why eBay might be one sponsor to watch:

This brand actually might have the money to do it. And they already have a deal with JR Motorsports.

Earnhardt has often talked about his eBay addiction and also his quest to make sure he has a good rating on the consumer site.

With the website already a sponsor for his Nationwide team, JR Motorsports, it makes sense. But the process is still in the early stages, so nothing is certain for his Sprint Cup car.

After clinching a sweep at Pocono on Sunday, Earnhardt became the third driver this year to win three races. He also took the Daytona 500, which is considered the Super Bowl of the NASCAR circuit.

While the National Guard won't be able to retain the sponsorship in the future, Junior likely won't falter due to the decision. Atop the Chase Grid and in the hunt for his first championship, Junior looks like an eligible bachelor for any sponsor looking to court him.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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