Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he didn’t have any details on the Army National Guard’s decision this week to discontinue sponsorship of his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet next season.
“That’s been the Guard and HMS to sort all that out,” he said. “Really enjoyed working with them over the last seven years and hope to be able to continue to represent them. It’s a huge honor.”
Earnhardt spoke briefly Friday morning before Cup practice at Watkins Glen International about the Guard’s decision, which was announced Wednesday night.
In a statement, Hendrick Motorsports said it had an agreement in place for the 2015 season, which it planned to honor.
Asked if he had any indication this decision was imminent, Earnhardt said: “There’s been the debate in Washington, and I’ve been watching it for several years. Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue to represent them.
“I really have enjoyed it. It’s been a great partnership. I think it’s been very effective and hopefully we’ll continue to do that.”
The Guard said it was spending $32 million on its NASCAR sponsorship this season.
“We haven’t arrived at a decision for sure, but I think you’ll probably see him run a few (Cup) races next year,” Hendrick told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio this week.
“Before he ever won a Nationwide race, I watched him test Jimmie (Johnson’s) car and Jeff (Gordon’s) car at Nashville, and Jimmie and Jeff commented to me, ‘This kid is super smooth and super fast. He takes care of his equipment, and he doesn’t get in a jam.’ ”
Elliott drives the No. 9 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series and is expected to do so again in 2015.
Crew chief Darian Grubb was suspended six weeks and fined $125,000, and car chief Wesley Sherrill was suspended six weeks. Hamlin and Joe Gibbs were each docked 75 driver and car owner points.
Grubb and Sherrill began their suspensions last weekend at Pocono.
The Hall of Fame, based in a suburb northwest of Detroit, will move to Daytona Beach, Fla., in 2016.