By admin | June 24, 2009
By Richard Allen
According to a report on FoxSports.com it looks as if Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing may be on its way to a merger with Joe Gibbs Racing to field Toyotas for Juan Pablo Montoya.
EGR currently fields two cars for Montoya and Martin Truex.
Truex is in the last year of his contract and appears set to join Michael Waltrip Racing next season. Once that happens EGR will be forced to look for a place to land.
The support from Chevrolet is drying up rapidly so there is little reason for EGR to stay with that camp. None of the other manufacturers are looking to expand beyond their current numbers of teams. So, the only avenue for those without support is to link with a team who is already receiving financial support.
Right now, Joe Gibbs Racing is one of the few to have an available spot.
When asked, J.D. Gibbs said he was not planning such a move but when finances come into play he may well have a change of heart.
Blame who you will but if this move does indeed take place it will bring about the final end to any remnant of what was once known as Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The company founded by the seven-time champion will cease to exist in every way shape and form, as if it really even exists today.
Somehow, I don’t think this is what Dale Earnhardt, Sr. had in mind when he founded this company.
Had Earnhardt not been killed in the 2001 Daytona 500 it would seem likely he would be carefully managing the career of his son, who would still be driving the #8 car for him.
Obviously, when he died that plan fell into disarray and a new one took its place.
In the last couple of years Earnhardt’s company has experienced a bitter break-up between his wife and children, a merger with Chip Ganassi’s organization and now its apparent end.
Before his death Earnhardt could have never foreseen that his company would wind up merged twice within one year, the last being to a team that field Toyotas. And more, those Toyotas would be driven by a former Indycar and Formula 1 driver from Colombia.
No, this is not what Dale Earnhardt, Sr. had in mind for his company.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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