The NASCAR Nextel Cup will be rebranded as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2008 onwards.

Nextel's parent company Sprint takes over from their subsidiary as the title sponsor four years after arriving in NASCAR to replace long-time series sponsor Winston.

The switch from Nextel to Sprint had been rumoured as early as 2005 and although the Nextel brand is now officially bowing out, Sprint bosses say that the firm will retain an involvement in the Cup Series.

"Sprint is a premier brand that Americans have known for decades," said NASCAR CEO Brian France. "The company's new brand direction is focused on speed and that has always been our business. It makes perfect sense for the Sprint name to be attached to our premier series. Sprint Nextel has shown an incredible commitment to the sport and our fans in the first few years, and we are excited about the technology enhancements they are planning for the future."

"It is our mission to ensure a name change will not alter the way fans view the sport or the way we support it," said Sprint's Vice President of Marketing Tom Murphy. "This is a thrilling sport with deep historical roots, and we will continue to honour that past and help the sport be even better in the future."

The official switch from Nextel to Sprint will take place on January 1st 2008.