I come into work this morning and I start up Internet Explorer to find my personalized Google homepage filled with the same headline listed over and over and over again.
“Earnhardt Jr. leaving DEI after the season”
I had to do a double take. Maybe it was just the media being clever trying to trick me but no, it was all true. Dale Earnhardt Jr. scheduled a press conference for today (the invites to the media were sent out midday yesterday) and before the thing even began speculation was flying all over the place about what he was going to announce. Everybody’s money was on him announcing his departure from DEI, and so they were right.
It’s a very sad thing for him to have to leave DEI. It would have been the sweetest thing if he could have stayed and won a championship for the company his dad started. But I guess it wasn’t meant to be that way.
Being the true and dedicated fan that I am I don’t care which team he goes to next, uhm… wait… it can’t be Hendrick, puhleeese don’t go to Hendrick, not like he could anyway they’re already at the 4 team limit. I’m ok with Richard Childress Racing or Joe Gibbs Racing, although him having Tony Stewart as a teammate makes me want to retch, but whatever, I’d get over it.
I really hope that Dale Jr. and his sister Kelley get what they want and find the right team/company that can support their efforts to win (and win consistently).
I thought it was really awesome, and speaks to how cool Dale Jr. is, that he asked Darrell Waltrip to come down for the announcement. Darrell has said many times in the past that he thought Junior would have to DEI at some point in the future in order to really make a run for the Cup championship.
So my next questions are… Is Junior’s crew chief and cousin, Tony Eury Jr., coming with him?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. takes a break during testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Monday. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)