Authors: By JENNA FRYER
LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Sprint has signed a contract extension with NASCAR to remain the title sponsor of the elite Cup Series through at least 2016.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse announced the extension Friday night during NASCAR's season-ending awards ceremony at Wynn Las Vegas Resort.
The current 10-year contract Sprint signed with NASCAR was set to expire at the end of the 2013 season, but negotiations on an extension had been going on for some time. Sprint officials indicated during the Nov. 20 season finale that they were close to announcing a new deal.
Hesse called the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship the best since its 2004 inception and thanked the drivers for adding excitement to "an amazing series."
Hesse also presented champion Tony Stewart with a check for $5.8 million.