Splitsville for Budweiser and Earnhardt Jr.

One of the most recognizable advertising tandems in NASCAR, Dale Ernhardt Jr. and Budweiser, are on the outs. When Jr. split from DEI in favor of Hendrick Motorsports, virtually any chance of this dynamic duo staying together vanished due to Hendrick's existing contracts. Hendrick's other big NASCAR stars, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon, have endorsement deals with another advertising juggernaut, Pepsi. Jr. seems to be genuinely disappointed that he couldn't keep Bud, and with good reason. Some of the very best ad gurus on the planet work for Budweiser, and many feel that's a main reason why Jr's such a popular figure. Then again, he has his legendary father's name working for him, too, which obviously helps. As Jr. points out to the Chicago Tribune, Bud also throws the best parties and events, which is a great bonus for a single driver in his 20s. Details of Jr.'s next primary sponsor are still being worked out.

[Source: Chicago Tribune]

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