The burning story around the garage and amongst NASCAR fans for months has been Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s status in 2008. Where will he go? Who will he drive for? What car will it be in? We will get the answers tomorrow morning. Earnhardt Jr. has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow morning at 11:00 at his JR Motorsports shop in Mooresville, North Carolina, the same shop that he sat in a few months ago when he made the announcement that 2007 will be his last year with DEI. Reliable sources close to the Earnhardts have reported that Junior's plans for 2008 are centered around Hendrick Motorsports.
Earnhardt Jr. said in his statement a couple of months a go that he wanted to win a championship ASAP. Hendrick Motorsports has six of those. Hendrick was also tied to the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. In 1983, the old man was behind the wheel of the Busch car that gave Rick Hendrick his first career win as a car owner. Even Earnhardt Jr.'s current sponsor, Budweiser, appeared on Hendrick's number 25 car in the 90s. It's a perfect fit.
The same sources close to driver 8 have also said that Junior will be replacing Kyle Busch as driver of the number 5 Chevrolet. With nothing more than a handshake left between Earnhardt Jr. and Budweiser, it's very possible that he will step into the same Kellogg's sponsored car. I guess a couple of months ago at Texas, when he stepped into the 5 car and finished out the race for Busch who left the track after wrecking, the team was taking Junior for a test drive. It appears as though Junior passed the test.
So let me set the stage for you. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson. Teammates. As if that weren't enough, the three of them, along with Casey Mears, will be driving for a team that has 159 wins, 6 championships and 10 wins already in 2007. Maybe we will see less beer cans when they win next year.
Will his fans be disappointed? Probably. But is it a good move? Definitely. Junior, this Bud, err, bowl of Kellogg's is for you!