Checkered future for NASCAR as economy downshifts
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The phone rang off the hook at Hendrick Motorsports in June 2007 as prospective sponsors lined up to spend their money on Dale Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's most popular driver who had just signed a five-year contract with the team.
"We want in, and we know it's going to be expensive," was the message Hendrick heard over and over. Mountain Dew's AMP Energy and the Army National Guard ultimately teamed to pay the tab, estimated to be at least $30 million annually.
A mere ...
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