CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Richard Childress Racing may be forced to shrink back to a three-car team if sponsorship isn't found for the No. 07 car next season.
RCR announced on Monday that Brown-Forman will not extend its relationship with the company beyond this season, meaning the No. 07 will lose the Jack Daniel's sponsorship.
Team officials said the organization's goal is to have four cars in 2010, but that is all dependent on sponsorship. Whether Casey Mears, 20th in points, remains in that car if sponsorship is found was not made clear.
But Jack Daniel's will remain on the car for the remainder of this season.
"While it is difficult for us to end our formal relationship with RCR, the current economic environment has compelled us to reevaluate our spending, and we've concluded that other areas in the marketing mix require additional investment," said Tim Rutledge, vice president and brand director for Jack Daniel's.
RCR expanded to four teams this season, moving Clint Bowyer from the No. 07 to the No. 33 and hiring Mears to step into the No. 07.
"We understand the shift in their spending priorities during these tough economic times, and the No. 07 Jack Daniel's Racing program will continue to provide that successful platform for the rest of the 2009 season," Childress said.
RCR, which had all three of its drivers in the Chase last season, failed to put one in this season.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.