MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Hendrick Motorsports’ quest to lock down the next primary sponsor for Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Chevrolet has officially ended.
Team officials announced Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway that Ally Financial – formerly GMAC until being rebranded in May of 2010 – will serve as Johnson’s full-season primary sponsor for both the 2019 and 2020 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series seasons.
The two-year agreement includes all 36 Cup Series point races, plus the two annual exhibition events on the calendar – the Clash at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway in February and the NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway in May.
Ally Financial will become just the second primary sponsor Johnson has had in his Cup Series career, taking the reins from Lowe’s Home Improvement, who announced their departure from the No. 48 team back in March.
Johnson, team owner Rick Hendrick and Ally Financial CEO Jeffrey Brown were on hand for the announcement, made at NBC’s Peacock Pit Box prior to the start of the First Data 500.
“This is a proud day for our entire organization,” said Hendrick. “Ally has built a tremendous brand by putting the customer at the center of their decisions and doing things right. In the same way, Jimmie has always put people first and handled himself like a champion in every sense of the word.
“Ally’s full-season commitment makes a powerful statement about their enthusiasm for him, our program and the direction of our sport. It’s an unbelievable fit, and all of us are thrilled to launch what will be a long and successful partnership.”
Ally is a leading digital financial services company, offering online bank, auto finance and insurance businesses, digital wealth management and online brokerage platform, mortgage-lending services, and Corporate Finance operation. Its corporate citizenship programs include charitable giving, employee contribution matching, volunteerism, financial education, Ally Grants and more.
The new deal between Ally and Hendrick Motorsports rekindles a primary sponsor association from more than 10 years ago. As GMAC, the company last co-sponsored Casey Mears’ No. 25 Chevrolet for the full 2007 season at Hendrick Motorsports and has been a partner of Hendrick Automotive for years.
Now, Brown hopes to bring a fresh shot of enthusiasm and energy to NASCAR with this new partnership.
“We’re so excited to extend our brand out. We’re a top-20 financial institution in the U.S., so to be partnered with two men like this is an absolutely fantastic opportunity to grow our brand and we couldn’t be any more excited about this next chapter for us,” said Brown. “We live by the mantra of ‘do it right’ and if you think about these two individuals and all they’ve accomplished in this sport, there is nobody better for us to partner with.
“We’re fired up. This is a major step forward for all sides and we’re excited for all the creative passion that’s already being generated with this deal.”
Johnson, 43, is signed with Hendrick Motorsports through the end of the 2020 season and will chase a record-breaking eighth NASCAR Cup Series championship next year.
“The opportunity to work with a partner like Ally is incredible,” said Johnson. “Their commitment to leading in both the workplace and the community is something that resonates with me in a big way. The statement they’re sending by signing on for every race is unreal. This is something that hasn’t happened in a long time and I commend them for everything they’re doing with us and look forward to representing them both on and off the race track.”
While the initial deal with the No. 48 team is for two years, Brown noted Sunday that the sponsorship has potential to continue even further into the future.
“We look at this as a long-term commitment,” said Brown. “We’ve known the Hendrick Motorsports group and Hendrick Automotive for a long time. Jimmie and Rick are both men of integrity, and that’s important to our brand.
“They’re powerful in this sport, we’re powerful in our space and this checked the box from a variety of perspectives. … While we signed up for two years today, don’t read into that. We hope this is for the long haul.”