Racing Away From the Evil Step-Mother
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be officially saying goodbye to DEI and racing full time next year for his own team JR Motorsports in partnership with Hendrick Motorsports sources from inside DEI and Hendrick have reported.
The press conference will be televised nationally (most likey on SPEED) will take place at 11am ET tomorrow (Thursday) from JR Motorsports headquarters.
So, will JR survive? Yes. The kid has bank, he will have sponsors galore, being the most popular NASCAR driver has its perks, and as much as I hate to admit it.. he has talent in the driving arena too. If his team is partnering in part with Hendrick Motorsports, he will really have a leg up in running his own team in the Nextel Series.
Will DEI survive? That remains to be seen. In losing Jr, they don't only lose their most talented driver, but they will also be losing Budweiser as a sponsor along with a few others who are rumored to be following Jr if he leaves DEI for greener pastures. While Martin Truex Jr. is a talented driver.. he isn't really talented enough to support an entire team, at least yet. Furthermore, his contract is up at the end of 2008, but there are rumors that his 2008 year is an option year. Thus he could be following his teammate and also go race for JR Motorsports. Additionally, DEI has struggled over the past few years, not only with bad luck on the driving front, but a lot of engine failures and just an inability to put a car out there that can consistently win races and put DEI in any sort of hopes to win a championship.
So, I'll let you all chew on that. And I'll bring you more tomorrow after the press conference and we get official details.