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Volume 25 No. 24
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3M Will Continue To Sponsor No. 24 Car Past Gordon's Retirement

On the heels of Jeff Gordon’s retirement, 3M has decided to stick with Hendrick Motorsports’ No. 24 Chevy moving forward, but will be reducing the amount of times it is primary sponsor in '16, sources told THE DAILY. The company will now serve as primary sponsor for five races for new driver Chase Elliott next season, down from 11, a source said. The switch is not part of a renewal, but brands often have the opportunity to reassess their sponsorships when a driver retires. 3M Senior Media Manager Lori Anderson confirmed the move.

When the brand switched over to HMS in '15 after a nearly decade-long relationship with Roush Fenway Racing, it signed on for the 11 races in '15, '16 and '17. Whether the number will change again in '17 is yet to be determined. Even with the reduction by 3M, inventory for the No. 24 is almost gone, as NAPA Auto Parts will be primary sponsor for 24 races, meaning 29 of the 36 Sprint Cup races are now accounted for, the source said. This comes after 3M recently announced that it was eliminating 1,500 positions – more than 1% of its nearly 90,000-person global workforce – as part of a restructuring effort amid a drop in sales and profits in the most recent fiscal quarter.