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Hendrick Motorsports is looking for another Sprint Cup sponsor for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88 to go along with the National Guard (20 races) and Diet Mountain Dew (five races). / Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports

It's no secret Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s Hendrick Motorsports car has yet to find sponsorship for 13 Sprint Cup Series races this season. In fact, even People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - which isn't typically associated with NASCAR - has caught wind of the news.

Since Hendrick Motorsports hasn't found a company willing to pay for hood space that meets team owner Rick Hendrick's terms, PETA wrote the driver a letter this week asking him to put the animal rights campaign's logo on the No. 88 car.

"I'm writing today after reading that sponsorship this season is at a low because I hope that you'll consider using the available space on your beautiful car as an opportunity to spread a lifesaving spay-and-neuter message that would spare countless dogs and cats in your home state tremendous suffering," wrote Michelle Cho, PETA's associate director. "... By placing a message on your car that encourages people to have their animals spayed or neutered, you would be reaching countless NASCAR fans with the lifesaving message that fixing animals helps curb the overpopulation of dogs and cats and drastically reduces suffering."

Of course, PETA certainly knows NASCAR doesn't work like that. The drivers don't decide what sponsors go on the cars, and race teams like Hendrick Motorsports aren't exactly giving away advertising space at no charge.

And you wouldn't think PETA is expecting a response from Earnhardt like, "Sure, you guys! Gosh, I've just been waiting for someone to ask to be on my car for free."

Rather, PETA's letter is a publicity move to take advantage of a situation that is highly unusual for NASCAR's most popular driver. At last week's preseason NASCAR media tour, team owner Rick Hendrick said he was looking for "the right deal, not any deal." And that's why the No. 88 had yet to sign another sponsor to go with the National Guard (20 races) and Diet Mountain Dew (five races).

Hendrick Motorsports didn't have any comment on the letter, but we're guessing the organization won't be taking PETA up on its offer.

Here is the full text of PETA's letter to Earnhardt Jr.:

Dear Dale,

I hope this message finds you well. You can count all of us here at PETA-the world's largest animal protection organization, with more than 3 million members and supporters-among your many fans who will be cheering you on this racing season.

I'm writing today after reading that sponsorship this season is at a low because I hope that you'll consider using the available space on your beautiful car as an opportunity to spread a lifesaving spay-and-neuter message that would spare countless dogs and cats in your home state tremendous suffering.

In North Carolina, PETA's Community Animal Project rescues local animals directly-crawling through sewers, poking through junkyards, climbing trees, dodging cars, and coaxing terrified strays to safety. We go into the very poorest of neighborhoods to deliver food, doghouses, and straw bedding to neglected animals who have never known a kind word or touch. And we don't give up. Our fieldworkers return to check on the animals and replace old bedding, check the doghouses, and make sure that the animals have food and water.

Our SNIP (Spay or Neuter Immediately, Please!) mobile veterinary clinic also provides no-cost to low-cost veterinary services in the most impoverished areas of North Carolina for families who cannot afford to have their animals fixed.

As you no doubt know, each year 6 to 8 million animals enter shelters in the U.S., and roughly half must be euthanized for lack of a good home. Others who never find a safe haven are left to roam the streets, creating even more litters, and succumb to weather extremes, disease, traffic injuries, and even abuse by cruel people. By placing a message on your car that encourages people to have their animals spayed or neutered, you would be reaching countless NASCAR fans with the lifesaving message that fixing animals helps curb the overpopulation of dogs and cats and drastically reduces suffering.

Thank you so much for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

With kind regards,
Michelle Cho
Associate Director
PETA



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: PETA letter to Dale Jr.: Put us on your car!

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