DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- NASCAR announced Wednesday that beginning next year it will permit sponsorships and advertising by companies producing hard liquor.
Over the years, NASCAR teams have been allowed to advertise beer and malt beverages but not hard liquor.
NASCAR President Mike Helton said "the time was right" to change the policy.
"Attitudes have changed, and spirits companies have a long record of responsible advertising," Helton said.
NASCAR officials are confident that companies producing hard liquor "will communicate the same responsible marketing and messages that beer companies have exhibited in the sport for the past 25 years," Helton said.
Driver Jeff Burton said: "I honestly believe that if the spirit companies come into the sport and handle it properly they will elevate the responsible drinking message."