Earnhardt Jr. announces that he will leave DEI at the end of the season.

While on break today at work I decided to check my e-mail and then the news on the NASCAR.com site on my cell phone. When this headline came up I couldn't believe it! Lately the news has been that negotiations have been going on albeit moving very slowly this news is still a real shock. Those that have been visiting here know that my favorite 2 drivers are Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. It is however Dale Earnhardt Jr. who is NASCAR's most popular driver and 2nd place isn't even close. He has the largest fan base in America's #1 spectator sport. Dale Jr. has had a rocky relationship with his step mother Teresa Earnhardt who took over the operation when Dale Sr. passed away. He was asking for 51% ownership of the company that his father started along with his stepmother. I feel that Teresa Earnhardt made a big mistake not working out an agreement. What is DEI without Dale Jr.? He is the name and face of that race team. His father built that race team with the intention of having his run the team's operations eventually so it's really sad that they couldn't work things out. This announcement is absolutely huge. I'm still in shock! When it comes to which team he'll end up with there are a few frontrunners to consider. RCR is an obvious possibility as they run Chevrolets, something that Dale Jr. was very clear about in his press conference that he wanted to continue driving a Chevrolet. RCR is also the race team that his late father drove for so it seems like an obvious choice. NASCAR has implemented a limit on how many race teams one owner can have in the series and this will take place at the start of next season. That limit being 4 teams per owner. RCR has 3 race teams in the Cup series right now so they have room to expand their operations by adding on another team. Another team to consider is Hendrick Motorsports. The problem there is that Rick Hendrick already has 4 teams in the Cup series with drivers Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Casey Mears who just signed on with Hendrick Motorsports this season. I can hope and dream that Dale Jr. will somehow end up at Hendrick Motorsports but it doesn't seem like that'll happen with the current situation. It'll be awesome if he joined though! Joe Gibbs Racing has room to expand their operations with another race team so that's another possibility plus they also run Chevrolets. My gut feeling is that he'll end with Richard Childress Racing. That just seems to be the best fit right now. RCR has great resources and sponsorship so it'll be guaranteed that Dale Jr. would be driving very good cars there. Jeff Burton and Kevin Harvick are currently RCR's top drivers and if they add Dale Jr. to their operation it'll be a very impressive lineup of drivers there. Plus if Dale Jr. does go to RCR there's a strong possibility that we'll see the legendary #3 car on the track again! Now that would be awesome! 

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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2 Responses to Earnhardt Jr. announces that he will leave DEI at the end of the season.

  1. Saburo says:

    The NASCAR reporter who chatted with Kornheiser and Wilbon had two comps: 1) Prince William abdicating the British monarchy, and; 2) a Kennedy leaving the Democratic Party. Both scenarios are ridiculous so I guess it IS a shocking development.
    I guess I've known this story being reported for so long as a human interest story (stepparent vs. stepchild) so the professional aspect totally escaped me. Also PTI's newfound love for motor sports is key. I still have a difficult time understanding the concept of "team" organization in a competitive environment that's centered on individual achievement, like golf. I'm glad they reported the story as "NASCAR 101" for numbnuts like myself.

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  2. Saburo yes this announcement is really that big! It's the biggest news in NASCAR since Dale Sr. passed away in 2001. Dale Jr. is the biggest free agent in the history of the sport. I really don't think that can be argued as incredible as that sounds. The way that teams under one organization in NASCAR help each other includes testing cars for upcoming events and sharing the results and car setups for particular races on specific tracks with each other. On the track they may allow a team mate to lead a lap which gives a driver bonus points. For example if team mates are running 1st and 2nd, the crew chief for the 2nd place car may contact the crew chief for the 1st place car and ask if they can lead a lap. The message is then given to the 1st place car and it's up to them to find the best possible place on the track to slow a bit and move over allowing their team mate to get in front and lead the next lap after which, the driver receiving the favor would then slow and allow their team mate to get back in 1st place. This usually occurs early to mid way during races if this 1st-2nd place scenerio presents itself. Also on superspeedways (Daytona & Talladega) where having drafing partners is extremely important, team mates will communicate to each other when they're going to pit so that they can come in to the pits together therefore guaranteeing that they'll have someone to draft with when they get back on the track. If a driver doesn't have cars to draft with they'll get freightrained by the pack of cars which are in the draft and have much slower lap times. One thing about cooperation between team mates must be understood though. While a team mate won't "intentionally" wreck another team mate. When the laps of the race begin to wind down all bets are off. It's every driver for themselves. Team mate or not, everyone wants to win and therefore a lot of wrecks and cautions frequently occur near the end of races when playing nice stops and drivers get really aggressive. Bumping and banging! As they say rubbin's racin'! 🙂

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