It’s official, Dale Earnhardt Jr announced today that he is going to drive the 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports starting in 2008, putting an end to the wondering, although, there are lots of people who are not surprised, many of Dale Jr’s fans will not be happy. I saw many posts from fans saying they will not root for a Hendricks car ever. So, looks like they are going to be limited to Martin Truex Jr or maybe Kyle Busch, if a driver swap is really what is happening, as was thought yesterday, or many could go back to the guy who took Dale Earnhardt’s place, Kevin Harvick.
Here is the video from Nascar of him making the announcement, Dale Earnhardt Jr. to Hendrick Motorsports. More videos below.
When he first decided to move on from DEI, he wanted to go to somewhere he could win championships, and in his announcement he said he found that man and he introduced Rick Hendrick. This puts to rest a lot of the speculation on where he was going, and am sure it removes a lot of pressure from Jr, but it probably added a bunch to him as well. What will his fans think? What if he still doesn’t win a championship? There are many things he will be thinking about over the course of the rest of this year. I am sure some of the fans will be mad, but if you are a true Dale Jr fan, you should be happy he is going somewhere that will give him the equipment and tools that he needs, if not, then maybe they are really Dale Sr fans and maybe it is time for some to move on, especially if they are going to hate racing or Dale from now on.
Still no official word on where Kyle Busch will go, and no official word on what is going to happen to the Budweiser sponsorship, Budweiser said they wanted to stay with Jr, but I believe their contract with DEI is not up until 2008. It is believed the Dale will keep the Kellogs sponsorship, at least for next year. Then I can see Budweiser signing on, if Dale wins a championship, then I am sure his fanbase will only get larger and not smaller because of this move. Good luck Dale, your going to need it.
Here are some more videos from Dale Earnhardt Jr’s press conference today, hosted at Nascar.com.
Hendrick: It’s a ‘wow’ day Rick Hendrick says signing Dale Earnhardt Jr. is something he and his son Ricky had envisioned years ago.
Junior relieved, excited to join HMS With the goal of winning championships, Junior says he feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders by joining HMS.
A surreal experience Junior comments on what it was like being recruited by the icons of the sport.
Hendrick vows to help Junior reach his goals Rick Hendrick says he wants to support Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his goal of winning a NASCAR championship.
Junior on Hendrick and other teams Junior on Hendrick and other teams he viewed as competition at DEI.