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General Discussions => Race Talk => Topic started by: BrettBaldeck on May 10, 2007, 01:37:05 AM

Title: "Major" Announcement
Post by: BrettBaldeck on May 10, 2007, 01:37:05 AM
There is quote a "Major" announcement that is going to be made tomorrow at 11:00 AM ET at JR Motosports. So "Major" in fact that it will be carried LIVE on both ESPN2 and SPEED.

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last month lol, I think we all know what the annoucement might be. But then again, it could be anything.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: drpep (brian) on May 10, 2007, 02:27:20 AM
 Probably followed by MAJOR announcement #2 from NASCAR saying they are doing away with the top 35 in points making the field so Jr's start up team won't have problems qualifying. Unless he and Bud cough up big cash for some 2007 points.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 10, 2007, 12:24:18 PM
Here are the items from Jayski on this.  Basically I believe he'll buy provisionals from DEI or somewhere.  I doubt he'd go into this with no owners points.  BTW, when all this talk started a few months ago, I predicted he'd go with his own team.  He's surrounded himself with people from his birth mother's side of the family and friends, so I had a feeling this would be his fall-back position if Teresa refused to hand over majority ownership. 


From Jayski:

"Dale Jr. & Truex to JR Motorsports? press conference at 11am/et UPDATE 2: Dave Moody reported on Wednesday afternoon's Sirius Speedway that rumor has it that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will announce tomorrow [Thurs, May 10th] at JR Motorsports, that both he and #1-Martin Truex, Jr. will drive in the Nextel Cup Series for JR Motorsports in 2008. Hendrick Motorsports will provide engines for the team. A press conference is planned for 11:00am/et at JR Motorsports headquarters per a PR from the team and SPEED will interrupt regularly scheduled programming to go LIVE from the JR Motorsports race shop at 11:00am/et for a news conference with NASCAR Nextel Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.(5-9-2007)
UPDATE: Earnhardt Jr., NASCAR's biggest star, has been in contract negotiations with his current employer, Dale Earnhardt Inc., and is asking for 51% ownership of the team. But the location of the press conference, at JR Motorsports, which Earnhardt Jr. owns separately from DEI, indicates his future plans might not include DEI. Earnhardt Jr., who was at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday evening for a sponsor appearance, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he planned to talk about "some ideas I've got for the future" but would not elaborate. Officials from DEI did not return phone calls seeking comment. But Earnhardt Jr., answering questions from fans at an event held by his sponsor Budweiser, indicated that his plans for JR Motorsports might not include adding two Nextel Cup cars. He said his main goal in being a team owner is to be able to help young drivers and mechanics advance their careers. "I don't want the company to get too big," he said. "I've got about 70 employees now, and I don't want to get too many more." He also seemed to squelch another persistent rumor that he was headed to Richard Childress Racing to drive the #3 Chevrolet made famous by his late father. "'I'd like to do it for a year or two at the end of my career, when I'm 50 or 55," he said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(5-9-2007)
UPDATE 2: Dale Earnhardt Jr. officially will say goodbye to Dale Earnhardt Inc. on Thursday morning. 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. Sources at Hendrick Motorsports reportedly disavowed knowledge of a pending partnership. Also, various reports have indicated that Earnhardt Jr. will announce his plans to leave DEI, but that he won't necessarily be driving for a JR Motorsports team in association with Hendrick. Sources tell Yahoo! Sports that Earnhardt Jr.'s primary sponsor, Budweiser, will follow Junior to JR Motorsports or wherever he lands. Budweiser's contract with DEI is due to expire at the end of 2008, but Yahoo! Sports sources believe there are provisions within the contract for an early exit if Earnhardt Jr. does not drive the #8 Chevrolet for DEI. There has been no comment thus far from either DEI president Teresa Earnhardt (Dale Jr.'s stepmother) or company director of global operations Max Siegel. Truex's contract with DEI reportedly runs through 2008, though '08 might be only an option year on his deal with the team. It also is possible Truex has an out tied to primary sponsor Bass Pro Shops' future with the DEI. Sources have told Yahoo! Sports that the sponsor has explored moving to a different team after this season.(Yahoo!Sports)(5-10-2007)"

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: drpep (brian) on May 10, 2007, 03:13:39 PM
 I just hope that throughout all this hoopla that FOX and ESPN don't forget that there are races this weekend. Cup qualifying looks like it will be a waste of time now. I 'm sure we will be watching the Dale Earnhardt Jr 500 Saturday night. The rest of the drivers may as well head home.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Desmond on May 10, 2007, 03:48:53 PM
And then there's this:  At the press meeting at Atlanta that Cheryl referenced (through Jayski), Dale Jr. said that making JR Motorsports into a Nextel Cup team was "not a priority."  John Anderson, ESPN anchor, told me that on SportsCenter.  So we must deal with the possibility of a bidding war.

In a few minutes, we'll all find out whether or not Dale Jr. is forming his own team.  That would be the easier scenario as DEI and RYR would then go ahead with the rumored merger.  If instead Dale Jr. fills a spot on an existing team, a ripple effect would begin in which many, many drivers would change teams.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 10, 2007, 04:06:52 PM
Press conference is on ESPNEWS on XM and all he said is he's leaving DEI.  Basically, just put himself up for "free agency." 

Well, we know from yesterday's statement by the Hendrick General Manager that he's definitely NOT going there...


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 10, 2007, 06:00:46 PM
From Jayski (he also has a video clip on his news page that looks like you could download the press conference):

"UPDATE: some highlights from the Dale Earnhardt Jr. press conference:
Dale Jr. will leave DEI at the end of the season
Sponsor/Budweiser? will be discussed in a timely manner
Car #8: No decision, but Dale Jr. expects DEI to keep the car number 8. Note: NASCAR owns and assigns car numbers to an owner(s). NASCAR reserves the right to revoke or transfer car numbers to another owner/team at any time. Car numbers are non-assignable and non-transferable, except by NASCAR. NASCAR works with teams and sponsors when a specific number is requested. Team have been known to 'sell' car numbers, like when DEI got the number from the Stovala Brothers in 2000, #15 from Bud Moore, etc.
Crew Chief Tony Eury Jr.: no decision on if crew chief Eury Jr. will go with DaleJr, Dale Jr. said he can't speak for Eury Jr.
DEI Teammate Truex Jr.: is not part of this situation or discussion
Possible Plans:
1) sign with a top tier Nextel Cup team [one that wins and runs for the championship
2) sign with a second tier team
3) and the last choice, would be to run Nextel Cup with Dale Jr's own team, JR Motorsports, but no plans for that to happen at this points, Dale Jr. does hope he can drive a few Busch Series [or whatever it will be called in 2008] out of the JR Motorsports shop.
Why leave DEI? Dale Jr. said he negotiations were never close, and he knows fans are disappointed, but so is he.
More on this and hopefully a transcript will be posted in a bit.(5-10-2007)"


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: ronbarnes77 on May 10, 2007, 06:22:07 PM
 :) :)one thing to say WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ::) ::) ::)

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: old hot rodder on May 10, 2007, 07:39:52 PM
Yeah, Ron, a BIG WOW!!!
 Fooled me, but it does give some credence to the RYR/DEI rumor. I still think that would be a good 4 car team.
Dick :-[

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: cowboy271 on May 11, 2007, 04:22:28 AM
I've got a feeling this will be VERY interesting in the near future.  Junior and Budweiser have quite a bargaining advantage considering  the sponsorship problems some teams are having but I'll put my money on Childress or Gibbs (in that order).  I just don't know how much baggage may be bringing with him to another team and the associated headaches of accommodating NASCAR's golden boy.  Childress teams are showing a lot of promise this year and if I was Richard, I'd be concerned with upsetting that progression with Jeff and Kevin.  Gibbs, on the other hand, has an apparently disgruntled two time champion with Tony and Hamlin showing great potential.  I know Tony and Jr. are buddies, but so was my wife and I before we got married.  If I had to bet, I'd bet on Jr. in a Gibbs car next year unless Joe has an objection to the Bud sponsorship due to his beliefs.

It'll be interesting to watch :D

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 11, 2007, 12:40:23 PM
I agree with you on most of your points, James!  Imagine that!  I think if Childress can't accommodate him, Gibbs is the most likely place for him to go, but I don't know even if Joe himself was back running the team if he could manage both Tony and JR. 

Time will tell where he lands, but as Lou and I have discussed, I have a feeling any chemistry he had with his current team is gonna be gone after this announcement.  Not a good thing for a team that is just got back into the top 12 last week and have a tenuous hold on it. 


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: old hot rodder on May 11, 2007, 02:19:12 PM
Gee Whizz, I agree with both of you, Cheryl and James. It will be interesting indeed. Meanwhile, I hope that there is some racing going on somewhere!! ;D

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 11, 2007, 02:37:56 PM
Meanwhile, I hope that there is some racing going on somewhere!! ;D

Unfortunately, Dick, I'm afraid Brian is right; I sure we'll see this story as the focus of both ESPN's and Fox coverage this weekend.  And, dammit, Darlington deserves better!  Although weather is looking real iffy for tonight and tomorrow night.  I have a feeling we'll be seeing another traditional Sunday afternoon race this weekend.


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: old hot rodder on May 11, 2007, 05:05:40 PM
Yep, it will be a Junior lovefest/ speculation whatever,... :(

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Desmond on May 11, 2007, 05:11:53 PM
The latest report has Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at Richard Childress Racing, driving the same #3 car as his father.  If so, this would create the biggest story NASCAR has ever seen since, well, his father died.  It is something millions of fans have wanted to see for a long, long time.

Certainly, RCR fits the competitiveness criteria.  Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton have been race winners this year and were in the 2006 chase.  Clint Bowyer has never won (in Cup racing), but looks promising.

On the other hand, Dale Jr. has said that he is neither ready to drive car #3 or feel worthy of it.

I disagree.  This offer may never come to him again, and I would take it in a hurry.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 11, 2007, 05:28:14 PM
From a RCR press conference earlier this morning:

Comments From Richard Childress, Owner of Richard Childress Racing 

      Dodge Avenger 500, Darlington Raceway 

      Richard Childress, owner of Richard Childress Racing, answered
      questions from members of the media at Darlington Raceway on Friday

      me kind of tell you where I'm at on it. Dale Jr. just made a major
      decision in his career and in his life yesterday and out of the
      respect for Teresa, Dale Jr. and this situation, let's all give him
      some time to make the decisions that he needs to make and be fair.
      He's got a lot of tough decisions coming up with the direction he's
      going. I just think it's fair if we all let him have some space and
      some time to kind of think about what he wants to do in the future."

      DO YOU WANT HIM?  "We will sit and talk, I'm sure. You know I'm
      hoping he's considering us but I think right now we just give him
      some time and space to do his own due diligence on the race teams
      that he's looking at."

      friends of the family for many years and I'm sure the time will come
      we'll talk."

      HAVE YOU HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH HIM YET? "No, not on this part of
      it. No, he just made his decision yesterday."

      IT: "No, it's nothing to that."

      said earlier, it's just way too soon to even talk about it. I
      apologize but we're here at Darlington, I got three teams that we're
      here trying to come down here and win the race with. Junior's going
      to be trying to win the race and I just think being fair to
      everybody, I think this is just something that has to be kind of
      settled. I know you're doing your job, everybody here is doing their
      job trying to talk about it. I just think right now let us
      concentrate on Darlington, give Junior a little time and a little
      space and he'll make the decision and he'll make the right decision
      and I want to see him go (with) what's best for Junior because I've
      known Junior since he was a very, very young man."

      ON IF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH TERESA EARNHARDT MAKES IT AKWARD: "I'm still friends with Teresa, the whole family and Dale Jr. and we'll
      see how it all pans out." 


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: cowboy271 on May 12, 2007, 01:13:00 AM
Cheryl, thanks.  I thought the FOX announcements regarding Childress were premature and I admire Richard Childress's comments regarding giving Jr the time to sort things out after a somewhat "life changing" decision.  I'm sure I'll be sick of all the talk before Monday (maybe even Satruday:))

I really loved Tony's comment during qualifing...something to the extent "I'm glad he created all the media excitement; I could slug anyone and noone would even notice".  For some reason, I have to admire Tony.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: old hot rodder on May 14, 2007, 03:50:15 PM
Re tony---Me too, James. ;D

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 14, 2007, 03:58:33 PM
I thought his comments on Race Day yesterday were quite interesting.  Wendy Venturini was interviewing his crew chief and Tony threw water on them.  Then Wendy said something like "Your water is gone - what are you going to do now?" To which Stewart replied "Pretty much whatever I want..."  Kind of sums up his mindset IMHO...


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Desmond on May 14, 2007, 05:12:10 PM
To get back to the topic, what do you think of Ginn Racing as a possible home for Dale Earnhardt, Jr?  They have a fourth team in place (#39) and owner Bobby Ginn has the stated ambition of landing him.

Then there's this: Last night on Wind Tunnel (SPEED Channel), Ed Hinton speculated that Earnhardt Jr. could join Hendrick in a "trade" for either Kyle Busch or Casey Mears.  Earnhardt Jr. would join a team that has won championships (and for which he has already "driven" this season) and either Busch or Mears would be the centerpiece of Ginn Racing, he reasons.

Then, in "My Take," Dave Despain showed his adamant opposition to Dale Jr. driving the #3 because it would be a concession that Dale Jr. is not his own man and depends on the legacy of his father.

I disagree.  I still think that RCR and the #3 is the best option.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Vivian on May 14, 2007, 09:02:17 PM
The only thing I have to say about the situation is that I personally think people should let Jr be his own person and stop harping on him to drive the 3 and replace his Dad. He does not need that thrown into his face all the time.  Just ask Hank Williams Jr about what that did to him.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: old hot rodder on May 14, 2007, 09:17:52 PM
The only thing I have to say about the situation is that I personally think people should let Jr be his own person and stop harping on him to drive the 3 and replace his Dad. He does not need that thrown into his face all the time.  Just ask Hank Williams Jr about what that did to him.

 "Hey sawbones, I'm just carryin' on an old family tradition" ;D ;D

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: cowboy271 on May 15, 2007, 04:04:05 AM
Dick, I like that one ;D and thanks Viv for the interesting comparison.

I believe Ed was onto something regarding the Hendrick deal, especially the recent champion thing.  I'm probably wrong, but I don't believe has had a champion since Dale Sr. and I can't help but wonder if Junior went there and didn't win a championship, the pressure on him would be tremendous.  I just don't know if Childress has the "stuff" to support three championship contending teams (but I not sure any other current team has that breadth of talented folks, facilities and equipment).  I really feel Childress would be much better off cultivating the 29 and 31 teams who've shown so much promise the last couple years.  I also agree with Hinton that something just doesn't seem right about the Childress/Junior thing.  Maybe Childress feels it would be morally wrong to take his best friends son away from the empire built by Senior?  I know that's a screwy idea and old fashioned thinking.  I may have the morals of an alley cat, but I do have morals and respect others so I'm not sure I'd feel real great in Childress's shoes giving Junior a ride in the current scenario and I have to wonder if Junior doesn't feel the same way.

Will Hendrick and Junior fit?  I have some ideas on that, but I've wasted enough bandwidth tonight so I'll tick off some more folks later.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 15, 2007, 12:23:50 PM
Will Hendrick and Junior fit? 

I just don't see him fitting over there.  Rick has won his championships by hiring young guys and developing them along with some remarkable chemistry with their crews.  I don't see him changing this forumula after so much success. 

Also, I see bringing in someone who would steal all the limelight would be disrespectful to his two champions and, say what you will, but Hendrick is very loyal to his people.  Besides the fact the Hendrick General Manager has already stated they have four drivers and not in need of another.  I know the folks on my other group pointed out that statements like that have been known to change, but I just can't see it in this case. 

I really believe personality-wise, JR would fit better with the Gibbs' drivers (even more than Childress).  I think Harvick would have a lot of problems having carved his identity as Childress' high-profile driver to only be overshadowed by someone else.  Whereas, I think Stewart would welcome someone taking some of the intense scruitiny off of him for a change.


Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: old hot rodder on May 15, 2007, 02:19:02 PM
Young Gibbs has said that it would be difficult for them to work Junior into their scheme of things, perhaps the beer sponsorship, whatever. Look for him at Ginn racing, in my opinion.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Desmond on May 15, 2007, 04:37:59 PM
Young Gibbs has said that it would be difficult for them to work Junior into their scheme of things, perhaps the beer sponsorship, whatever. Look for him at Ginn racing, in my opinion.

That was my point exactly.  Joe Gibbs is a devout Christian and whether he would bend his morals to accept Budweiser, if indeed it insists on continuing to sponsor Earnhardt Jr., is a huge question.  Then again, in JGR's favor is Dale Jr.'s personal friendships with Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

Title: Re: "Major" Announcement
Post by: Cheryl on May 22, 2007, 02:39:53 PM
From Jayski:  "DEI looking for #8 replacement, sponsor, may keep Bud: Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI) is working on finding a replacement to Dale Earnhardt Jr. for the #8 Nextel Cup car. "It's hard to say how far along we are," DEI executive board member John Story said Saturday prior to the Nextel All-Star Challenge. "We've had a lot of interest. We've obviously made a few phone calls ourselves. We've had a lot of unsolicited phone calls from some top athletes that are interested in it, but clearly I can't discuss any names. We don't have a template in mind for a driver other than we need a winner, we need another driver to complement our group, somebody that is capable of winning championships, winning races. Whether he's young or old is less important than making sure he's a top athlete that is a winner." DEI would likely need to either extend its current deal with Budweiser (which said it is reviewing its options in light of Earnhardt Jr.'s departure) or find a new sponsor to lock in a top-tier driver. "There will be a sponsor of that car, that's no doubt," Story said. "We won't be able to get a top-name, championship-caliber driver without a solid commitment from a sponsor."(SceneDaily.com)(5-21-2007)"