Nationwide to end Hendrick Motorsports sponsorship in fresh blow for Nascar

Nascar’s commercial exodus shows no sign of stopping with Nationwide Insurance announcing it will no longer sponsor Hendrick Motorsports following the conclusion of the 2019 season.

Since 2015, Nationwide has been a primary sponsor of the team’s No. 88 car, which was made famous by star driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. until his retirement in 2017, and is now being driven by Alex Bowman.

The Ohio-based insurance company had signed a two-year extension through 2020 but is exercising an exit clause to end the partnership a year early.

“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.

Nationwide’s exit from the stock car racing series places a new spotlight on widespread commercial issues Nascar has faced in recent years to maintain its commercial viability following a dramatic decline in attendances and TV audiences.