National Guard to pull out of NASCAR and IndyCar - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

National Guard to pull out of NASCAR and IndyCar

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(Source: hendrickmotorsports.com) (Source: hendrickmotorsports.com)
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/AP) -

The National Guard said Wednesday it will end its sponsorship of NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and IndyCar driver Graham Rahal, but it is not clear when that goes into effect.

Hendrick Motorsports said in a statement it has a contract with the Guard through 2015 and there have not been discussions to change that deal.

A spokesperson for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing did not immediately return a request for comment on the status of the Guard's sponsorship in IndyCar.

The Guard said in a statement posted on its web site it spent $32 million on its NASCAR sponsorship and $12 million on its IndyCar sponsorship this year.

"Significantly constrained resources and the likelihood of further reductions in the future call for more innovative and cost-effective ways of doing business," said Maj. Gen. Judd H. Lyons, acting director of the Army National Guard.

Motorsports sponsorships are not the only programs to be impacted by decreasing budgets.

Since 2012, the Army Guard has reduced sports sponsorships from six—including professional fishing and motorcycle racing—to just the NASCAR and IndyCar sponsorships.

In fiscal year 2015, the Army Guard's marketing budget is expected to be about half of what it was just three years ago in fiscal year 2012.

Sen. Claire McCaskill has led a push in Congress to end military sponsorships, calling the funding "wasting a bunch of money."

Copyright 2014 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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