The wireless communications company is expected to pay $30 million to $60 million a year for the rights, which Winston had held for 31 years before RJR decided to back out of its sponsorship. RJR informed Nascar of its decision earlier this year, citing its troubling financial problems and the instability in the tobacco industry.
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Nascar officials did not return several calls. A Nextel spokeswoman said the company does not comment on sponsorship or marketing matters "until they come to fruition."
It is not known how potential conflicts with companies that compete with Nextel will be ironed out. Cingular and Alltel both sponsor individual teams that race on the circuit, while AT&T has a sponsorship agreement to be Nascar's official telecommunications company.
Nascar also spoke to Visa USA, Coca-Cola Co. and McDonald's Corp. about becoming the title sponsor.