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Somehow, I don’t think this is what Dale Sr. had in mind

By admin | June 24, 2009

By Richard Allen

According to a report on 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.

Topics: Articles |

10 Responses to “Somehow, I don’t think this is what Dale Sr. had in mind”

  1. MISSU3 Says:
    June 24th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    Dale didn’t plan on dying either. It can’t all be blamed on Teresa or Jr for that matter. In todays economy, even the very strongest teams are struggling. A much different world today than it was on 2-18-01. We only had 911 NOT 9/11 on that day. A whole lot of things would have been different and probably better IF we hadn’t lost Dale.

  2. Joe88 Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 6:21 am

    MISSU3, You need to remember though, Teresa pushed JR away and he left and took ALL is sponsor $$$ with him. Teresa merged with Ganassi because she lacked capital. Let’s call it like it is, she was in charge, made bad business decisions, and is now paying the price.

  3. Overra88ted Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Rock star or race driver? OVER-HYPED, and OVER-RATED Dale Jr. hasn’t done sh** since 2004, and will not do sh** in the future. Looking back Teressa probably should have just shut down DEI racing dept. and just went with the museum, less of a headache. WHERE would JR. be today if Teresa had closed DEI? Based on his performance the last 5 years, Jr’s world would be totally different today, and very possibly not in Cup. He’s in ‘better quipment’ now and still can’t get it done. The Earnhardt last name, and DEI made JR., Dale JR. DIDN”T MAKE DEI. THE ECONOMY in the last year, has crippled DEI’s ability (and na$crap teams in ge to attract sponsors than anything else.

  4. bobby dee Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 8:29 am

    I felt abandoned when Dale Jr. left DEI. He could not work through the problems there.

  5. Overra88ted Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 8:40 am

    Jr. took all the sponsor $$$ with him? Really? Well than this BUD’s for you! Look’s like BUD made the right call by dumping an OVER-RATED driver, and going with Kasey Kahne. 2008: BUD- 2 wins, Amp- 1 win, after na$crap let’s JR. pass the pace car 3 times, to coast while running out of gas. 2009: BUD- 1 win, AMP- 0, and not looking promising, HMS is now doing everthing but drive the car for JR.

  6. midasmicah Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 9:36 am

    I guess the wicked stepmother did get her just dues. Dale Sr. has to be rolling in his grave.

  7. Joe in Pittsburgh Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Yeah and Bill France Jr. didnt plan on dying either. Look how HIS company (with all due respect to Big bill Sr) is turning out. Talking about this kind of becomes moot as people die,things change–and not always for the better. Although I wonder what Bill Jr. REALLY thought as he watched Brian enact alot of these changes before he finally passed.

  8. Overa88ted Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Kelly and Dale JR.’s OVER ZEALOUS “right of entitlement” to own 51 percent of DEI was a factor in JR.’s forcing himself out of DEI. Just wasn’t going to happen. Biggest problem Dale Sr. had, kids from 3 wives. Teressa was the last, she helped build DEI, then tried to save it for ALL the kids like Dale wanted. Ever heard Kerry or Taylor demanding to own DEI? I don’t think so! Living off the EARNHARDT name are what the SELF PROMOTING Kelly and OVER-RATED JR. are all about. When they couldn’t get their way at DEI, Kelly and Dale JR ” shifted gears” ( how’s THAT been working) to MILK THE MONEY TRAIN at Hendrick. 13 races into his 2nd season this year, and HMS had to step in and bailout an embarassing distraction. Richard Childress has to be smiling somewhere, thinking NO Black #3 for JR. = NO HEADACHES!

  9. cliff Says:
    June 25th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    yeah overttated looks like RCR might be having sponsorship troubles…so no black number 3 with a earnhardt behind the wheel..dale has 18 wins in a cup career 2 busch series titles how many titles does kyle busch have NONE..grabted he can drive but take weekend week out just not one race
    he has 3 wins in cup this year tied with um mark martin..get over yourself and think cause carl edwards not doing good this season..hell the whole RCR team..jack rousch struggling..

    June 25th, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    I find it interesting that MWR is starting to become in many ways the successor to the DEI legacy. MWR is being run by Ty Norris who first started DEI with Dale SR and helped steer it to its greatest heights (until Teresa decided to get rid of him - the first bonehead move she made) It is owned 50% by Michael Waltrip who was a big part of DEI’s early success (like him or not!) and was very very close to SR. It employs many former DEI employees, is currently fielding cars in Nationwide for DEI developmental driver Trevor Bayne, and has hired Ryan Truex as a developmental driver.

    And it appears they are about to hire Martin Truex Jr away from DEI - the star who was supposed to save DEI when Jr. left.

    MWR appears to be on a huge upswing and DEI is about to disappear forever. As a huge fan of Dale Sr, I can’t help but wonder what Dale would say about this huge turn of events (if he could).