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Earnhardt says Diet Mountain Dew scaling back

Dale Earnhardt Jr. says sponsor Diet Mountain Dew is going to "back off a little bit" next year, leaving a small gap to fill on Hendrick Motorsports' No. 88 Chevrolet.

Earnhardt said Friday the majority of the season is set with the National Guard, but that there's a "balancing act" with multiple sponsors because everyone wants to be the top sponsor. He says the void he has to fill in place of Diet Mountain Dew is tricky because it's so small, and that "if it were a bit larger gap it would be easier to fill."

Earnhardt also was in the news this week when he said Ryan Pemberton has joined JR Motorsports to help general manager Kelley Earnhardt-Miller, the driver's sister. JR Motorsports recently parted ways with competition director Tony Eury Sr., Earnhardt's uncle.

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