Jack Daniel's will end its NASCAR programme and will not extend its sponsorship with Richard Childress Racing's #07 team, the organisation announced today.

The whiskey maker has sponsored an RCR car since 2005 with Dave Blaney (2005), Clint Bowyer (2006-08) and Casey Mears (2009) as its drivers. Its departure - its contract was up after the 2009 season - means that team owner Richard Childress must find a sponsor to field the #07 Sprint Cup car next year.

"Jack Daniel's has enjoyed a good five-year run with Richard Childress Racing and NASCAR, and we are pleased with the overall performance of our sponsorship programme," Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel's, said in a statement. "We have enjoyed building strong relationships with the people in Richard's organisation and throughout NASCAR.

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"While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to revaluate our spending, and we've concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment."

Brown-Forman, Jack Daniel's parent company, used its NASCAR sponsorship to promote its message of 'Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly', which was featured in all NASCAR promotional materials, including on the racecar.

"Brown-Forman has been a great partner of RCR for the past five years through its Jack Daniel's brand," added Childress. "They quickly became a NASCAR-industry leader in the promotion of the Jack Daniel's brand through the 'Pace Yourself, Drink Responsibly' messaging, which our fans have embraced.

"We understand the shift in their spending priorities during these very, very tough economic times."

by Sporting News