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Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hold on, Jr.

In a move that could prove quite distracting to Dale Earnhardt Jr., still trying to win his first race in over two years and achieve his first championship, he has alluded to the fact he is considering bringing his ownership of JR Motorsports up to the Cup Series from the Nationwide Series -- presumably with talented young driver Brad Keselowski -- as early as next season.

While I applaud his entrepreneurial ambition, I question the timing. He needs to concentrate right now on winning and racing up front for Hendrick Motorsports, not make his business a more time-consuming and distracting part of his life. Jr. says it’s almost as expensive to run in the Nationwide series as it is to run in Cup, but even if that’s true, managing a Cup team is more involved because much more money is on the line, so more attention must be paid.

This story also could potentially involve Tony Stewart, whose name has been thrown around as a possible partner/driver at JR Motorsports if the team does make the move to Cup. I know the Tony and Dale are friends, but this would be a silly move for both of them. The Cup team ownership bug seems to have bitten both of them, but Tony would like struggle mightily and be quite frustrated with a startup team like this, even if he is half-owner.

Jr. may be trying to follow in his dad’s team ownership footsteps, but Dale Sr. had won all seven of his championships before he created Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. Jr. needs to get something accomplished in Cup before he takes that leap.

Pit stop:
It’s only a matter of time before we find out who will take over the new fourth Richard Childress Racing car next season. The front-runners appear to be Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman, who have struggled for consistency in their current rides at DEI and would love to join a team that’s grown accustomed to running up front over the last couple years. Scott Wimmer has an outside shot, but it won’t be some young, unproven talent, as sponsor General Mills will want instant results from an experienced driver. It’s a tossup, but I’d put my money on Truex finding his way out of his DEI deal and moving to RCR.


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