There’s little doubt that if he wants to, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will likely spend the rest of his NASCAR racing career at Hendrick Motorsports.
But will he?
Somewhat lost in the shuffle of his regular Friday media session at Kansas Speedway, Earnhardt had a blockbuster-type revelation: that he holds out hope of someday racing for his own JR Motorsports (see his comments below).
Earnhardt essentially said that he’d potentially like to “retire” (our emphasis, not his) to the Nationwide Series once his days at HMS are over.
That’s both surprising and intriguing.
Had stepmother Teresa Earnhardt given him control of what is now the defunct Dale Earnhardt Inc., after the two battled over its control in 2006 and 2007, who knows where Junior would be today.
Back then, Junior even talked about someday outright buying DEI – the company his late father started back in 1994 – back from Teresa Earnhardt, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anymore since DEI no longer exists.
Earnhardt talked about how the Nationwide Series program runs at JRM, but then segued into how he may potentially end his racing career.
Here’s his comments:
Well the Nationwide Series is a year to year deal,” Earnhardt said. “Our sponsorships are short term compared to the Cup level so our relationships with our drivers have to fit in those windows as well.
That is nothing unusual about going year to year or every two years with a driver contract. We do the same thing with the sponsorships as well sometimes. We would love to have longer agreements, but that just depends on the money just like every other piece of the puzzle.
The money really has a big effect on it. I am really happy that we are basically going to have a carbon copy of what we did this year next season.
We have had a lot of success and I think we can build on that and everything is going to stay in place and we are going to go on down the road. On down the road is just 12 months.
When you talk about the Cup Series you look a little further. I would like to race for that company one day, so I hope to keep it healthy until that opportunity presents itself whenever I’m done Cup racing to jump in a Nationwide car and do that for a couple of years in my own shop.”
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