Comcast to sponsor NASCAR's second-tier series

Daytona Beach, FL ( - NASCAR and Comcast have reached a 10- year agreement for the cable television company to sponsor the auto racing circuit's second-tier series.

Currently known as the Nationwide Series, the property will be called the NASCAR Xfinity Series starting on Jan. 1, 2015.

The 10-year term matches the longest single agreement around title sponsorship of any NASCAR national series in history, and is the longest entitlement sponsorship agreement in this series' history.

"We're proud to welcome Xfinity to the NASCAR community as title sponsor of the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the next decade," said Brian France, NASCAR Chairman & CEO. "NASCAR and Xfinity are each leader brands with much in common. Both are focused on innovation and have products built for speed. Together, we will work to take this series to new heights and elevate one of the most unique and powerful partnerships in all of sports."

Xfinity is Comcast's residential service brand and is the nation's largest video and high-speed Internet provider.

Last year, NASCAR announced that NBC Sports Group (NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network) will broadcast NASCAR races, starting in July 2015. Comcast is the owner of NBC Universal. In September 2013, Nationwide Insurance revealed that it would not return as title sponsor of NASCAR's No. 2 series when its contract expires at the end of this year.

"We start with the interest in live sports and the importance of live sports, and we just think NASCAR as a sport, as a cultural phenomenon, is a great venue for live sports," Comcast senior vice president of marketing communications Peter Intermaggio said. "These fans want to engage anywhere and everywhere. That's what really made NASCAR stand out for us is the opportunity to partner with NBC Sports, within our family company of Comcast, but also to be able to bring live sports more dramatically to the customer."

The first race of the 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series season is scheduled for Feb. 21 at Daytona International Speedway.

Nationwide Insurance will remain in NASCAR but serve only as a primary sponsor of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team for 12 Sprint Cup Series races next season and then 13 events in the series in both 2016 and '17.