No Fuelin 76 Out

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ConocoPhillips, owner of the 76 gasoline brand, said on Tuesday it will end its more than half century-long relationship with NASCAR auto racing at the end of the year.

The familiar 76 gasoline logo -- an orange ball with the number 76 in blue at its center -- has been a fixture at NASCAR's wildly popular Winston Cup stock car races as "the official fuel of NASCAR." But 76's Houston-based parent company said it will end the sponsorship deal of more than 50 years by Dec. 31.

ConocoPhillips said 76 will fulfill all of its contractual obligations, including supplying racing fuel at all Winston Cup events and at NASCAR's other circuits -- the Busch Grand National and Craftsman Truck Series -- before returning its official fuel rights to NASCAR at year's end.

"Due to changing business strategies, we are unable to take full advantage of NASCAR's national and international marketing platform," Mark Harper, president of wholesale marketing for ConocoPhillips, said in a statement.

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