NASCAR fans may have noticed a long-time sponsor has been ripped off Chase Elliott's No. 9 car.

The Hooters decals were no longer on the car when Elliott raced to an 18th-place finish during the Ally 400 at Nashville Superspeedway on Sunday.

Why Hooters Has Been Removed From Chase Elliot's Car?

Hendrick Motorsports posted a video of the No. 9 car on X (formerly Twitter) ahead of Sunday's race. The message simply said "the white scheme is back this weekend" with no mention of Hooters no longer sponsoring the car.

The reason behind the switch became clear today when NASCAR writer Kelly Crandall shared a statement from Hendrick Motorsports explaining the disappearance of the Hooters branding.

The statement noted the wing chain and the team had worked together since 2017, but they have now parted ways.

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"In recent months, however, Hooters has not been able to meet its business obligations to our organization," the statement said. "Due to these unfortunate and unexpected circumstances, and despite extensive efforts on both sides to identify a workable solution, it became necessary for Hendrick Motorsports to end our relationship."

A report from FrontStretch.com says the deal was supposed to run through the end of this year. Elliott was driving the Hooters car when he won the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 400 at the Texas Motor Speedway in April, his first win in 42 starts.

Tough Times For Hooters

It's been a rough couple of weeks for Hooters. The weekend prior to being removed from Elliott's car, Hooters shutdown nearly 40 of its restaurants across the U.S.

The once-popular wing chain said the current economy is hurting its business. Its corporate office told USA Today that "like many restaurants under pressure from current market conditions, Hooters has made the difficult decision to close a select number of underperforming stores."

At one time, Hooters had more than 400 locations spread throughout 29 countries. In addition to the restaurants, Hooters also opened a Las Vegas casino and started its own branded airline.

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The chain's ties to NASCAR date back long before its sponsorship of Elliott's No. 9 car. On3.com noted Hooters has been a full-time sponsor as far back as 1992 when it was part of Alan Kulwicki's championship season.

Elliott's win at the Texas Motor Speedway in April was the first for a Hooters car since Kulwicki's 1992 championship run.

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