Sources: NASCAR to rename series Sprint Cup

Updated: June 21, 2007, 1:31 PM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

Beginning with the 2008 season, Sprint will replace Nextel as title sponsor of NASCAR's premiere racing series, multiple high-ranking industry sources told ESPN.com on condition of anonymity.

The series will be known as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, sources said.

NASCAR declined comment.

Dean Kessel, Sprint's NASCAR marketing director, denied the claims, and said Sprint/Nextel is still sorting the proposition out with NASCAR. Kessel also said that multiple outstanding details must be finalized internally before a decision can be made either way.

This would mark the third name since 2003 for NASCAR's Cup Series.

From 1972-2003, the Cup Series was sponsored by R.J. Reynolds tobacco through its Winston cigarette brand. Then, starting in 2004, Nextel assumed the naming rights to the most popular racing series in the United States.

Sprint and Nextel agreed to a $36 billion merger in December 2004.

Marty Smith covers Nextel Cup racing for ESPN.com.