Budweiser is reportedly negotiating to sponsor an Evernham Motorsports team next season, ending its longstanding relationship with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Budweiser is said to have assembled a list of four drivers it would be interested in sponsoring next season, with Evernham’s Kasey Kahne topping the list. In order for Budweiser to assume major sponsorship of Kahne’s #9 Dodge next season, the Dodge Dealers Group will have to modify their existing deal with the team, which runs through the 2010 campaign. Team owner Ray Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway recently that he believes the dealers would be willing to do so.
DEI President Max Seigel continues to talk to Budweiser about remaining with that team, but in order to make that deal a reality, DEI would have to sign one of Budweiser’s four targeted drivers to replace Earnhardt next season.
Evernham Motorsports officials said yesterday that no agreement has been reached with Budweiser, and that they are talking to several companies about potential sponsorships. However, Budweiser officials have contacted Lowe's Motor Speedway about holding a Press Conference at the speedway next week, possibly to announce their new deal with Evernham.
As we first reported nearly three weeks ago, it appears that PepsiCo is the leading candidate to back Earnhardt, Jr., at Hendrick Motorsports next season; through either its Pepsi or Mountain Dew brands, or a combination of the two.