With all of the rumors surrounding Dale Earnhardt Inc. of late, it seems that the company that Dale Sr. built is in jeopardy.
Martin Truex Jr. seems to be dragging his feet on signing that extention, and is rumored to be considering joining Stewart Haas Racing in a third car. He’s said to be furious with the team’s recent penalty that knocked him out of Chase contention.
Also, the team is considering shutting down the No. 01 of Regan Smith if it cannot lock up sponsorship dollars for the entry.
The U.S. Army, which sponsors the No. 8, is said to be looking at other teams for its sponsorship. That team recently lost Mark Martin, but does have Aric Almirola slated to be full time in the ride next season.
And now, I’ve read that Paul Menard and his father, John Menard, are rumored to be considering moving over to Yates Racing next season, leaving DEI without sponsorship and a driver for the No. 15 car.
With all of these rumors, the only certain thing is that Almirola will be in the No. 8.
Recently, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that he had no interest in buying the team. What? Come on! Jr. is telling us that if DEI was put up for sale, he wouldn’t have any interest in buying it. BS, I say. How could he not? First, it’s his father’s team. Second, it’s a team he helped build through winning races and being NASCAR’s most popular driver. He put DEI on the map.
It’s the family business in a sport where family is central to most everything and he’s going to try to convince us that he hasn’t thought, for one second, about purchasing the team since hearing about it? Come on Jr., be honest. You would definitely consider buying the team because it is your father’s legacy.
But, there’s a reason Jr. said he is not interested in buying the team: he knows that Teresa would make it very difficult for him to purchase. Read his comments:
I didn’t ever feel like [Teresa] would be interested in selling the company. I don’t think that is in [her] character to give that company up. She feels that strong about it. She felt that strong about it a couple of years ago.
I think he knows how difficult she would make it for him to buy the team. I could see her taking a lesser offer from someone rather than letting Jr. buy it. Why? Because of the high profile control battle last season. In some ways, letting Jr. buy the company would be like conceding defeat.
Another reason he said he has no interest is because he’s learned to keep his mouth shut on his thoughts when talking to the media. If he were to express an interest, no matter how minor, he would be fielding questions about it for the remainder of the season.
He is in contention for the championship this year, and needs to focus on that. He’s trying to minimize the distractions, and any possible rumor about interest in buying the team would certainly be a distraction.