NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Danica Patrick (R), of the number 10 car, and Jeff Gordon, of the number 24 car, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Danica Patrick (R), of the number 10 car, and Jeff Gordon, of the number 24 car, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (REUTERS)

Sprint to Cut Ties With NASCAR’s Top Series

By Sports FOXBusiness

Sprint (S) is cutting ties with NASCAR’s top series after the 2016 season, the company announced Tuesday.

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The wireless carrier said it will not seek to extend its title sponsorship of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, citing a renewed focus on Sprint’s core businesses. The current agreement between Sprint and NASCAR is set to expire in 2016.

“As we look to the future, Sprint is focused on investing in maintaining a competitive edge and providing consumers with the best value in wireless,” Steve Gaffney, Sprint’s vice president of marketing, said in a statement.

The Sprint Cup Series can trace its roots back to 2004, when Nextel became the title sponsor. Sprint merged with Nextel the following year, and the Sprint Cup Series was born in 2008. An original 10-year sponsorship deal was extended for an additional three seasons.

“The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is a very unique, premium sports marketing platform with strong momentum, so we are very confident of moving forward in 2017 with an outstanding new partner,” Brett Jewkes, NASCAR’s chief communications officer, said.

NASCAR’s junior racing circuit is also getting a new name. In September, NASCAR announced that Comcast’s (CMCSA) Xfinity cable television unit will become the title sponsor for the former NASCAR Nationwide Series starting with the 2015 season.

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Shares of Sprint, which was acquired by Japan’s SoftBank last year, fell 4% to $3.89 in recent trading.

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