May 10, 2007

Junior to announce departure from DEI: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is expected to announce Thursday morning that he will leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. after this season and possibly form his own Nextel Cup team.

posted by wingnut4life to auto racing at 12:50 AM - 15 comments

Good move, bad move, whatever. Just do something to start winning some races, Junior. The Earnhardt name used to mean winning, but not anymore I guess.

posted by dyams at 07:48 AM on May 10, 2007

How will DEI recover from that??? Seems the widow is being selfish about the company.

posted by MindyK at 07:59 AM on May 10, 2007

The news conference is an hour plus away.. Rumors are sometimes wrong. Let's listen to the news first... JR is not SR.... I don't think he has the killer instinct to the same degree..... mind you ALL drivers have some of the killer instinct, else they would be CPA's... but Dale Sr. had it in spades... as did Allison and Petty and Cale Y. JMHO

posted by Fly_Piscator at 08:53 AM on May 10, 2007

What a huge miscalculation by Teresa. DEI loses its soul, the most popular driver in NASCAR. They lose Budwiser, the biggest sponsor in the sport. They lose Martin Truex and Bass Pro Shops sponsorship. Good luck paying your employees with Paul Menard and driver-to-be-named-later. Talk about wrecking a company. Since he wasn't winning races anyway, Junior had nothing to lose and everything to gain by making this move. He supposedly has a deal in place to use Hendrick chassis and motors at JR Motorsports, and untold millions waiting in endorsement deals and marketing a new number. The guy might as well print his own money.

posted by eccsport78 at 08:53 AM on May 10, 2007

Teresa needs to remember that blood is thicker than water and more than likely Sr would have done what Jr wanted so why is she being so pig headed about this??? Budweiser has said they will follow Jr no matter where he goes and his fans will always be loyal to him not DEI. Someone needs to tell her to pull her head from her ass and give hiom what he wants.

posted by MindyK at 09:57 AM on May 10, 2007

Bulletin from the news conference.

posted by wingnut4life at 10:27 AM on May 10, 2007

See you at the track Jr. Best of luck

posted by Ironhead at 10:39 AM on May 10, 2007

Well, Jr. was negotiating from a position of strength.... don't understand Teresa's reluctance... 49% of a huge pie is a whole lot better than 100% of a tiny pie.. Good move by Jr.

posted by Fly_Piscator at 11:57 AM on May 10, 2007

3, jr, 3

posted by markmathes at 12:03 PM on May 10, 2007

Sounds like trouble with Jr's stepmother...Her statements after his leaving next years looks like a coverup to the real reasons for his leaving. Bottomline is control and money..a question why did both brother and sister make the announcement and only reason that was given looks to be a little to easy. If his stepmother thinks that her company will still be as successful as before is a real jump. Jr. is one of the top ten drivers in NCar and without him it leaves a real void..Time is the element here wait and see..He still wants to drive for Chevy and driving for someone else will not change that or his position with the fans. Mindy's statement runs true to form here and she should have backed off her position or whatever and got it done and kept him on the team that he and his father built...

posted by The Old Man at 12:15 PM on May 10, 2007

Good move, bad move, whatever. Just do something to start winning some races, Junior. The Earnhardt name used to mean winning, but not anymore I guess. I read another story online with more detail, and it seems there may be more than one reason for his lack of success: "In 2005, he had a horrendous season when Teresa Earnhardt split up his crew, and he failed to make the Chase for the championship." Kind of hard to maintain a killer instinct when someone who controls the company hamstrings the operation out of spite. Gotta wonder what Daddy Dale was thinking with.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:16 PM on May 10, 2007

Daddy Dale was thinking with his head. He never let Teresa make decisions that he felt changed his ability to compete on the track. With him gone, she tried to fill his shoes, but couldn't. Don't get me wrong, Teresa Earnhardt is a very shrewd businesswoman, and by all accounts is flat-out deadly in a boardroom setting. Problem is, she doesn't know how to handle the racing side of racing, and she obviously doesn't deal with people very well. There've been rumbles from DEI since the week after Senior died regarding problems between Teresa and several others within the organization. If I was Casey Mears, I'd be sweating bullets right now, and I'd drive like a freakin' maniac the rest of the year. Junior wants to run Chevys, wants to drive a Hendrick chassis, and has complimented their engine shop on many occasions. Mears, while talented, isn't doing squat, which looks really bad considering he's got about as much experience as Kyle Busch, who's torn it up pretty good for a kid the past couple of years. After the Brian Vickers experiment, I wonder how fast Rick Hendrick might pull the plug on Mears to bring Junior on board. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. That has the potential to be a scary team right there.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:22 PM on May 10, 2007

Hell of a good move. I think he can pull it off. Why not start his own team, he has enough expirience to do it...right? Theres other current drivers starting teams, and he has the work done for him. All the sponsorship and money he needs. Doesn't he own over half of DEI already? So he's set. This is probably the make it or break it point for Dale Jr. If hes gonna live up to his Dad's name, he better do it now.

posted by dlopez916 at 04:48 PM on May 10, 2007

No, he doesn't own over half of DEI. As stated in the linked article, he wanted 51% ownership, which was the whole reason this happened. Always helps to read the article.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 05:06 AM on May 11, 2007

Other than drivers desperate for a team, what driver of quality is going to want to sign with DEI now? Would you drive for a team named DEI when DEJr won't even race for them?

posted by cdav1313 at 08:06 AM on May 12, 2007

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