Thursday, May 10, 2007


BREAKING: Junior Leaving DEI

I just finished watching Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s press conference, at which he announced that he would leaving Dale Earnhardt, Inc. at the end of the 2007 NASCAR season.

Dale didn't say where he would end up racing next year, and it's pretty obvious that he doesn't know right now. It won't be for Jack Roush, who is full on drivers. It could be Hendrick Racing, which will probably be looking to axe Casey Mears after his awful start to 2007. However, it's hard to see Junior meshing with Jeff Gordon, Jimmy Johnson, and Kyle Busch. It's just hard to picture the personalities meshing. (Since I am no Hendrick fan, I certainly hope that Junior doesn't end up there.)

There is one place that makes perfect sense - Richard Childress Racing. RCR has a spot open, and one could see Junior getting along with Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer better than with the Hendrick guys. Racing for the team that his father raced for some of the best years of his career also has to be a selling point. Heck, Goodwrench might return as a Cup sponsor for RCR. It would be something to dig that black #3 Chevy out of the mothballs and see it racing around the track again...

If I had a bet, I would think that Junior drives for RCR next year. If not, then at Joe Gibbs Racing, where his friend Tony Stewart races. Those two have to be the frontrunners for the newest and most sought after free agent in NASCAR.

MORE: Dan Wetzel has an excellent analysis, including:

The Boston Red Sox once sold Babe Ruth so its owner could fund a play. The Portland Trail Blazers once passed on Michael Jordan. The Minnesota Vikings once traded five players and six draft picks for Herschel Walker. None of those moves were as disastrously bad as the one Teresa Earnhardt made when she thought she could call Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s bluff about leaving his late father's racing team.


Junior had asked for a majority stake of DEI to stay. No one yet knows how negotiations between Junior and Teresa broke down – maybe Teresa really did all she could, but it doesn't seem like she was willing to give Junior the 51 percent control he wanted. Now she has 100 percent of a company in ruin.

The truth hurts.


Only in East Tennessee by a conservative blogger can one see the headline "Breaking: Junior Leaving..." and have it be about NASCAR and not Harold Ford Jr.
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