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Sprint to end NASCAR sponsorship

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sprint has informed NASCAR that it will not extend its title sponsorship of the organization's top-tier racing series beyond the current contract, which expires after the 2016 season.

Sprint has been the entitlement sponsor for NASCAR's top series since 2004, when Nextel signed a 10-year agreement for the Nextel Cup Series. The name changed to the Sprint Cup Series in 2008 following the corporate merger between Nextel and Sprint.

Sprint agreed to a three-year extension that took the contract through 2016.

Now, the company is citing "a need to focus more directly on its core business priorities" in ending its relationship with NASCAR.

NASCAR chief communications officer Brett Jewkes says the series understands that significant changes within Sprint led to the decision.

Nationwide recently ended its seven-year run as entitlement sponsor of NASCAR's second-largest series, saying that it planned to spend more on track sponsorships and in the Sprint Cup Series. Comcast Corp. bought those rights through 2024 and it will be called the Xfinity Series.

Camping World's sponsorship of the Truck Series runs through the 2022 season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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