Nationwide picks up more races with Earnhardt Jr.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Nationwide will be the primary sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr. starting next season under an expanded agreement with Hendrick Motorsports.

Nationwide had already signed on for 12 races for NASCAR’s most popular driver, but picked up an additional nine races for next season to push its total to 21. The deal runs through the 2017 season and includes the Daytona 500.

Hendrick Motorsports said Friday it is in discussions with the National Guard regarding its sponsorship of the No. 88 Chevrolet. The guard said last month it was ending its sponsorship of motorsports programs, but Hendrick says its contract runs through the 2015 season.

Nationwide is making its debut on Earnhardt’s car this weekend at Richmond International Raceway.

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