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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This has to be the funniest read I have come across about Jr. leaving DEI. I laughed my butt off.

Here is the link and the article below.
http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news?slug=dw-juniordei050907&prov=yhoo&type=lgns


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.

Her stepson was serious. Painfully so for DEI.

Thursday at his JR Motorsports headquarters in North Carolina, Earnhardt Jr. announced he is leaving DEI. Whether he is going to drive for his own team or will join an existing competitor is not certain.

What is known is that he'll still be sponsored by Budweiser, still will drive a Chevy and, of course, still be the overwhelmingly most popular and recognizable driver in NASCAR.

Only now, he'll be doing it for even more money and even more (if not total) control.

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.

Financially, the best move for Junior would be to expand his JR Motorsports, currently a Busch Series operation, to Nextel Cup, where he and current teammate Martin Truex could form a two-car team. With engine and technical support from Hendrick Motorsports, winners of seven of the season's 10 races, it could be a formidable team from Daytona on.

Most importantly, it would allow Junior to control the outrageous revenue he brings in, cashing in on the popularity that made him bigger than DEI, even if DEI couldn't realize it.

Since his father's on-track death in 2001, Earnhardt Jr., now 32, has become the driving force in all of NASCAR. He has what, half the fans? Sixty percent? Seventy? Any track, any weekend is a home game for Junior, as a sea of red-clad worshippers make him more beloved than his nearest competitors – the likes of Tony Stewart and Jeff Gordon – combined.

When Junior takes the lead the place goes nuts. When someone bumps him into a wreck, they'll be met, eventually, with a hail of boos and beer cans from the grandstands.

There essentially is nothing else like it in sports. Only Tiger Woods controls golf in the same manner – assuring crowds, television ratings and revenue. But Woods doesn't play every week, and culturally golf and NASCAR fans are little alike.

Even so, you wouldn't see Nike Golf let Tiger walk under almost any circumstances. You wouldn't see Nike co-founder Phil Knight assume he could just rebuild the division with someone else. Nike knows Tiger is the golf division.

That Teresa Earnhardt didn't see the same in her stepson is stunning. Maybe she really never does show up at the track? Maybe she really never talks to Junior and still thinks he was some silly, hard-partying kid who didn't know the difference between tens of millions and hundreds of millions?

Whatever it was, it was a colossal miscalculation.

If both Junior and Truex leave (Truex's future is unknown), DEI's Nextel Cup driver stable would consist of rookie Paul Menard and, uh, yeah, that's it.

It will still have the Intimidator's likeness to sell – a considerable cash stream. And Jeffrey Earnhardt – Senior's grandson and Junior's nephew – is under contract, but he's 17 and several years away, if ever.

But other than that, it's a leveling of the company. By not sharing more with Junior, Teresa wound up with all of nothing.

Meanwhile, if Junior keeps this in-house at JR Motorsports (where his sister Kelley is president) he officially can begin to print money. His new operation will select its marketing partners from a crush of Fortune 500 companies.

In terms of merchandise sales, this could be historic; the most popular driver with a new car and number.

Many fans hope Richard Childress Racing would surrender the rights to Senior's No. 3 and allow Junior to run it himself, but no matter the number, there are millions of Junior fans now in the market for new T-shirts, bumper stickers, key chains, flag, tattoos and heaven knows what else. The No. 8 is obsolete.

It's like the New York Yankees changing colors. Only with more fans who are more loyal.

If Junior is as smart as he has demonstrated recently, he'd invest some of that revenue into a great CEO for JR Motorsports.

And that is, perhaps, why just joining an existing team, albeit with a hefty compensation or partial ownership deal, would be the better choice. The demands of being an owner-driver can become too big. It's a double responsibility that has proven extremely challenging for Michael Waltrip and Robby Gordon.

Earnhardt needs to concentrate mostly on driving.

Of course, it's not like he's been tearing up the track. The most remarkable thing about his popularity is that it is not – like Tiger Woods' – based on dominating the competition.

Junior never has won a Cup title, hasn't won a race in a year and has taken checkers just twice since 2004. Yet he has the most fans.

The on-track results had to factor into his decision to walk. It's not like DEI was giving him the best car each week to begin with. If they weren't going to meet his business demands either, what was the point?

But for whatever reason, Teresa Earnhardt figured he wouldn't leave his daddy's company. Maybe she underbid him. Maybe she refused to give up control. Maybe she banked on a family discount.

Whatever it was, she guessed wrong. Terribly so. The good news for DEI is it only took the Red Sox 86 years to recover from something so dumb.

Dan Wetzel is Yahoo! Sports' national columnist. Send Dan a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast
 

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LOL

I've been wondering the same thing. What's Teresa THINKING? It's a shame that a company built by DE won't go to DE Jr.
 

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It's all about karma my friends. Jr is still a youngen. He'll be the one to come out on top. Next year is going to be very interesting.
 
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I feel bad for Martin and Paul. They lose their #1 teammate, and probably a lot of employees in the process.

I'll be surprised if that company survives long enough for the kids to end up taking it over like Dale intended for them to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
BudGirl8 said:
I feel bad for Martin and Paul. They lose their #1 teammate, and probably a lot of employees in the process.

I'll be surprised if that company survives long enough for the kids to end up taking it over like Dale intended for them to do.
There is a really good chance that Martin could go with him though. We'll see. ;D
 
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I call her the Evil Stepmonster. Then again that's what I called my dad's second wife too.

She's great business woman, don't get me wrong. But she sucks as a race team owner. She should've handed that team over to Ty Norris and moved mountains to keep him there. She could've stepped back and run the Foundation and let the motorsports division be run by people who gave a ****.

Oh well...coulda shoulda woulda. Too late now. The 25 million a year from Bud, and the untold millions from Junior is GONE now.

Martin said last night on NASCAR Now he's happy where he is and he's not going anywhere. He could be playing possum but I doubt it for now. It's going to be hard enough for Junior to find a Chevy team to drive for, let alone make it a package deal with him and Martin.
 
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To bring JR Motorsports into cup racing now, there will be no owner points to use. Everyone, including Jr, would have to qualify on speed. That's not easy when you've been running Busch and within 10 mos bring an organization to Cup level.

I don't know about Martin. To go to an existing team like JGR or RCR - they're probably looking at Jr, not Jr and a teammate from DEI.
 
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Scout said:
To bring JR Motorsports into cup racing now, there will be no owner points to use. Everyone, including Jr, would have to qualify on speed. That's not easy when you've been running Busch and within 10 mos bring an organization to Cup level.

I don't know about Martin. To go to an existing team like JGR or RCR - they're probably looking at Jr, not Jr and a teammate from DEI.
They'd have to be bonkers to go Cup with JRM right now. They need to put a plan into place and go in a couple of years if they feel the need to go that route. Anyone having flashes of Waltrip racing right now? I hope someone brings that up to him if he gets half a mind to go Cup racing with his own team. No owner points and an average of 50 cars trying to qualify for 43 spots every week is a disaster waiting to happen.

*crossing fingers for JGR to sign him* Tony, Junior and Denny on one team would ROCK!! Then again, Burton, Harvick, Bowyer and Junior would be a blast too.
 

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I just talked to my husband. He said on sports radio this morning - don't know which show - they said, and named a source, that Jr. was in negotiations with RCR last night and an announcement could come as early as today.

Who knows though. Could be some crazy rumor again.

That would make my husband very happy. Jeff Burton is his favorite driver with Jr. a close second.
 
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Scout said:
The $'s from #3 memoribilia - that all goes to Teresa, doesn't it?
Teresa and Richard have a deal worked out. #3 gear is sold at DEI and RCR and I saw a lot of #8 gear at RCR too. Was a little strange to me, but they must share a bunch of licensing agreements. She owns the rights to Dale's name, but Richard owns the #3 and the GM Goodwrench and car rights as far as I know.

Radio and all that is starting a bunch of crap. Darlington says no press conferences are scheduled and Junior's PR people say no deals are done because they haven't talked to anyone. I believe Mike before I believe anyone else. Mike and Jade would know and they would say if something was up. I doubt we'll hear anything before the end of the month, even if it was RCR. There's too much to be worked out with Bud. They still have to get out of their option with DEI for 2008, JRM has to work out associate sponsorship issues with DEI and personal services contracts, etc. No way that could've been done overnight. RCR also has to have dealt with building a 4th team. I don't think he had that infrastructure in place this soon.

We'll see I guess...
 

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I agree with you Budgirl, it's way to early for him to sign on with anyone. There's alot of details that have to be worked out. I'd like to see him drive for RCR because his dad did.

I wonder if the Bud #8 memorabilia is going to be worth anything. My bf has a couple of T-shirts he never took out of the plastic. They are brand spankin new.
 
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I think you're right about no announcements coming soon - from anyone.

A link at Jayski says Richard Childress will be talking to the media at Darlington, but he has no announcement to make.

Thanks for these few NASCAR discussions - was fun. I love this sport!
 
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Reoang said:
I agree with you Budgirl, it's way to early for him to sign on with anyone. There's alot of details that have to be worked out. I'd like to see him drive for RCR because his dad did.

I wonder if the Bud #8 memorabilia is going to be worth anything. My bf has a couple of T-shirts he never took out of the plastic. They are brand spankin new.
I have a Chance 2 (the DEI Busch team Junior and Martin won championships with) T-shirt Junior signed. I also have a ton of 8 gear. I'll be buying more this year...not sure what it will be worth if anything. I know I'll want it though, sentimental value if nothing else.

I'm glad we can have NASCAR discussions too - it's nice to find other fans. I'm addicted. Total gearhead. Live 2 miles from the KS Speedway. ;D

Ender's Mom said:
This is all greek to me.
Don't worry Lindsay. Most people feel the same way. The NASCAR Nation is only about 75 million people, and maybe 30 million of us are online. We're kind of an addicted bunch. Once you go to a race you're totally hooked. I've always been a car person though...so it was a natural thing for me to like a car that goes about 200 mph, has a huge engine, and my favorite is sponsored by a beer company. Added bonus is that a lot of these cars have cute boys driving them. What could be bad about any of that? ;)
 

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Oh, I agree that the odds of an announcement coming this soon are slim to none. Someone probably heard this
link at Jayski says Richard Childress will be talking to the media at Darlington, but he has no announcement to make.
and ran with it.

I didn't start watching until my husband and I got together. I went to my first race here in 2001 and swore I'd never miss it again.
 

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Yes, Christmas shopping is going to be a no brainer this year. :)

You know, I just can't bring myself to buy any of the #3 gear. Not sure why it gives me a bad feeling. It would be like building a shrine or something.

There are alot of drivers who are very handsome. My favorite is Jimmy Johnson. He is kicking butt again this year.
 
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I am going to watch the Dale movie when it comes to KS this year and I've already warned Scott that if he goes he better be prepared to watch me cry. They have the in car shot of Dale's car in Daytona. Obviously they don't show the actual hitting the wall but you see it coming and then it fades to white. Gah, I can't even watch the trailer to the **** movie without getting misty. There's some really incredible footage and interviews in there.

I don't buy any #3 stuff either. I'm new enough that I'd feel silly putting up his stuff now. And it makes me feel a bit weird too...shrine-ish.

If I have to admit a "crush" driver it would be Elliott Sadler. Whew...that Virginia drawl, 6'4" of yummy tall dark and handsome. Can't call him the Candyman anymore...but he sure is sweet. ;D
 

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Looks wise I like Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer. Jamie has the pretty boy looks and Clint is ruggedly handsome, I think.

Oh and Bobby Labonte of course goes without saying. CUTE!
 
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