Fresh sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr.

BROOKLYN, Mich. -- The sponsor Hendrick Motorsports is close to signing to a multiyear deal for Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be new to NASCAR.

HMS owner Rick Hendrick said the deal likely won't be completed in time for the sponsor to be on the hood for the July 6 race at Daytona International Speedway -- the first race in which the No. 88 was unsponsored.

Hendrick said National Guard likely would be on the car at DIS.

"We're going to have to switch some stuff around,'' Hendrick said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

NASCAR's most popular driver entered the season with 13 unsponsored races. Hendrick insisted in February there was plenty of interest and he was looking for a long-term fit for the 88 and not a quick fix for this season.

"This will be a pretty neat deal when we get to announce it, but I think we're in good shape,'' said Hendrick, not naming the sponsor other than to say it is new to the sport.

"There hasn't been a lot of new sponsors in the sport just because of the economy and the way people go to market, a combination of a lot of things. [But] there's always been a lot of interest in him.''