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NASCAR Business Roundup

Kobalt Leading Candidate To Sponsor Truck Series

Kobalt Tools, a Lowe’s brand, is said to be the leading candidate to sponsor the truck series. Craftsman, a Sears brand, will not renew its sponsorship of the series.

Stanley Tools and NAPA have been rumored to be potential sponsors as well.

Should Kobalt reach and agreement to sponsor the series, it would replace Craftsman as the official tool of NASCAR. Lowe’s could also become the official home improvement store of NASCAR, replacing Home Depot.

Anheuser Acquired By InBev

Anheuser-Busch has agreed acquired by InBev for $52 billion. Under the deal, which will create the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser will receive two seats on the board of the new company. The takeover also contains a provision that requires either side of the agreement to pay a “breakup” fee of $1.25 billion if it was responsible for the breakup.

The deal shouldn’t affect the company’s NASCAR sponsorship. Budweiser has signed a multiyear agreement to remain as sponsor of the Budweiser Shootout.

Budweiser will also become primary sponsor on Kasey Kahne’s World of Outlaws team.

GM Woes Trickle Down To NASCAR

Chevrolet will not renew sponsorship agreements with two tracks that host Sprint Cup races next season. The company is also evaluating all levels of its motorsports operations.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway are the two tracks. GM has contracts with 12 of the 22 tracks where the Cup series races and is the title sponsor for the fall race at Richmond International Raceway. GM also is the official vehicle provider for Daytona International Speedway.

SK Telecom In Talks To Acquire Sprint

SK Telecom would solicit the help of private equity firms, which would provide the cash for the deal.

Sprint has been contemplating a sale as it struggles with subscriber losses and remaining competitve with Verizon, which recently acquire Alltel. Should Sprint decide against a sale, SK will not pursue on, sources say.