Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Dale Earnhardt, Jr Is Leaving DEI

Ho. Lee. Crap!

The third-generation NASCAR phenom is leaving his late father's race team tomorrow morning. Is it possible for a Dale Earnhardt to leave Dale Earnhardt Incorporated?
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.

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. (H/T - Yahoo! Sports)
And to think I had a few other posts prepared before I saw this bombshell. For non-NASCAR fans - read: all of you - this is HUGE!!! Although there has always been a little friction between Junior and his stepmother, I figured they would iron out their differences before there was a split.

As floored as I am at the move, I think it will be a good one for Junior. Theresa was doing a terrible job at running (or is it "ruining") the team, and it is pretty inexcusable that the #8 car hasn't been as dominant as it could have. Of course, now all the pressure is on Dale. If he flounders in the new team, he's going to look like an ass.

Either way, it'll make for good drama.

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