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Dale Jr leaves DEI...


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http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news?slug=j...o&type=lgns

Dale Earnhardt Jr. officially will say goodbye to Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Thursday morning, Yahoo! Sports has learned.

A highly placed source within DEI as well as additional sources familiar with the situation told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday afternoon that both Junior and teammate Martin Truex Jr. will announce Thursday morning that they are leaving the DEI camp at the end of this season and will drive for Earnhardt's heretofore Busch Series operation, JR Motorsports.

Sirius Radio also reported late Wednesday afternoon that the Earnhardt/Truex split with DEI was a done deal and that the new Cup team entry will field Chevrolet chassis built by Hendrick Motorsports and will use Hendrick engines as well.

Sources tell Yahoo! Sports that Earnhardt Jr.'s primary sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Junior to JR Motorsports. Budweiser's contract with DEI is due to expire at the end of 2008, but Yahoo! Sports sources believe there are provisions within the contract for an early exit if Earnhardt Jr. does not drive the No. 8 Chevrolet for DEI.

The press conference, which is expected to be televised nationally, will take place at JR Motorsports headquarters in Mooresville, N.C., at 11 a.m. ET on Thursday.

There has been no comment thus far from either DEI president Teresa Earnhardt (Dale Jr.'s stepmother) or company director of global operations Max Siegel.

Earnhardt and sister Kelley Earnhardt Elledge have been in often contentious negotiations with Teresa Earnhardt that have sparked considerable posturing from both sides in the media.

Both siblings have said that if a deal with DEI was not in place by the end of May, they would consider a variety of options, including Junior leaving DEI. Just last week, DEI confirmed that it was talking with Robert Yates Racing about a possible merger and also a switch from Chevrolet power plants and chassis to Ford engines and chassis.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. began his racing career with DEI in 1996, shortly after the organization was formed by his late father, seven-time Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, and Teresa Earnhardt.

Earnhardt Jr. won back-to-back Busch Series championships in 1998 and 1999 before moving full-time to the then-Winston Cup Series in 2000. His first career Cup win was at Texas, with a memorable celebration between father and son in victory lane.

Voted the most popular driver in NASCAR by fans the last four years, Earnhardt Jr. has 17 career Cup wins but has yet to win his first Cup championship. He has gone 36 consecutive races without a win, his last being at Richmond in May 2006.

I don't follow NASCAR but I thought those of you who do would want to know this.

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It bugs me to see Junior leave DEI and the company his own father started, but I am glad he did not succumb to signing with another team, but going with his own team. Hopefully since he'll be using Hendrick equipment, that will begin a good success streak for Junior and team.

Oh, and by the way Teresa Earnhardt is a greedy bi**h who doesnt deserve to even use the name Earnhardt as a last name.

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Looks like DEI has not had the best equipment lately and Theresa has been greedy so Dale Jr. had no other choice really.

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It is a shame that he can't stay with the team that his father built. I do agree that it is great that he is going to his won team, and not another. The big question is how will his own team do. We've seen Waltrip and Robby Gordon try it. The key difference may be the involvement with Hendrick and the fact that he is Dale Jr.

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The deck is so stacked against a new team coming into NASCAR right now, with the first 35 spots of 43 reserved for the top team from the previous year that they are almost going to have to change the rules for next year to accomodate Dale Jr. and make it easier for Toyota to get into races.

From what I heard on my local NASCAR chat show last week is that some of the Toyota cars are actually not making some races after running qualifying speeds faster than some cars that are making the races based on their guaranteed starting spots based on points standings. That's crap.

I wonder if he will take the #8 with him, bring #3 out of retirement or start over with a new number?

It is a shame that he does not end up with the operation under his control and ownership the way his father intended.

JeffB

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I wonder if he will take the #8 with him, bring #3 out of retirement or start over with a new number?

IIRC, Richard Childress Racing still holds the rights to the number 3, so he would need to get approval from Childress in order to use it.

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I wonder if he will take the #8 with him, bring #3 out of retirement or start over with a new number?

IIRC, Richard Childress Racing still holds the rights to the number 3, so he would need to get approval from Childress in order to use it.

I imagine of all people, Dale Jr. would be able to work something out, be it a handshake agreement, a purchase or a percentage of a bazillion dollars in merchandising.

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I wonder if he will take the #8 with him, bring #3 out of retirement or start over with a new number?

It is a shame that he does not end up with the operation under his control and ownership the way his father intended.

JeffB

The last thing Jr. needs to do is drive with the number 3 on the side of his car. It's bad enough that the fans annointed him as successor to his father. That's enough pressure on it's own. He doesn't need to drive the ghost of his dad's car on top of that. He needs his own identity. My guess is Teresa won't have much use for the number 8. It's not like some other driver will want it.

DEI more or less sucks with two pretty good drivers. I'll be curious to see how they fare with lesser talent behind the wheel. Nice move Teresa.

I still think RCR will be in play before this is over.

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hp5-10-07d.jpg

Photo from the front page of the Post (for some reason -- I'm assuming Your Liberal Media is again trying to Reach Out. It's so stupid...)

Anyway, he grew a beard. Everyone knows that growing facial hair is the first step in any heel turn.

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hp5-10-07d.jpg

Photo from the front page of the Post (for some reason -- I'm assuming Your Liberal Media is again trying to Reach Out. It's so stupid...)

Anyway, he grew a beard. Everyone knows that growing facial hair is the first step in any heel turn.

With all due respect...What the :censored: are you talking about? :D

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He's not going to drive the 8 anymore, I assume? And I doubt he'd drive the 3.

Is 33 open?

edit: DSGitlin, you never know... Tony Stewart did liken NASCAR to professional wrestling... ^_^

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hp5-10-07d.jpg

Photo from the front page of the Post (for some reason -- I'm assuming Your Liberal Media is again trying to Reach Out. It's so stupid...)

Anyway, he grew a beard. Everyone knows that growing facial hair is the first step in any heel turn.

With all due respect...What the :censored: are you talking about? :D

Let me guess, you were looking at the woman on the left, weren't you? ^_^

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hp5-10-07d.jpg

Photo from the front page of the Post (for some reason -- I'm assuming Your Liberal Media is again trying to Reach Out. It's so stupid...)

Anyway, he grew a beard. Everyone knows that growing facial hair is the first step in any heel turn.

Or he's a fan of the Red Wings, Ducks, Sabres, or Senators....

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He's not going to drive the 8 anymore, I assume? And I doubt he'd drive the 3.

Is 33 open?

edit: DSGitlin, you never know... Tony Stewart did liken NASCAR to professional wrestling... ^_^

The 33 is open and belongs to Richard Childress Racing, Kerry Earnhardt has raced it in the past.

Also, what is with all these people saying that Hendrick is an option here?

Any NASCAR fan knows that HMS has the limit of four drivers on its team. Jeff Gordon has a lifetime contract, Jimmie Johnson is too talented to let go, ditto for Kyle Busch, and Hendrick has invested too much money into the #25 team and Casey Mears to make a move there. I still dont see how writers for magazines and such can even list them as an option.

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