Hendrick signs Axalta to 25-race deal

(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Hendrick Motorsports got a little bit of breathing room Friday in its sponsorship chase by agreeing to a four-year extension with Axalta to sponsor a combined 25 races per season between Alex Bowman and William Byron.

The deal runs through the 2022 season and comes one week after team owner Rick Hendrick confirmed home improvement giant Lowe's will no longer sponsor seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson after this season. Lowe's has been Johnson's only primary sponsor since his 2001 debut, and replacing that level of funding will be a daunting task for the race team.

For now, though, Hendrick has two of his newcomers partially covered into the future.