It is finally official, Dale Jr will not be driving the number 8 car next year. HMS and DEI could not come to terms.
OK, like did anyone ever believe that an agreement between the two sides would ever happen? Are you really that optimistic? Man, I knew it wasn't going to happen. I did have a faint glimmer of hope these last few weeks because there was still no announcement, but in the end I really wasn't disappointed as I had already prepared for the result.
Now before the Jr Nation goes and starts getting out their favourite Teresa Earnhardt voodoo dolls let's face it, Jr had this coming. I can see the hate mail now, but it is true. What do you expect "the wicked witch of Carolina" to do? He, yes Dale Jr, left DEI and DEI, not Dale Jr, has rights to that number. If I were a car owner and I had a number that meant something to me, like my late husband's Busch number and father-in-law's number, I would be keeping it with the company my husband started - even if the person who wanted that number was my late husband's son.
Why? Because of the way he left the family business. His "its my way or the highway" demands would have gotten my feathers ruffled too - even if he was right - and I would not give him anything but a swift kick in the butt on his way out. It is supposed to be a family business, not his business. Obviously, with Kelley in his corner his power play was even more threatening and what about the other two children in all of this?
Now I'm not taking Teresa's side here, just explaining her point of view. Honestly, I think it would have been a good gesture on her part to let Jr have the number, under certain provisions like a share in the profits made by the marketing of the 8 for example.
Who really knows what happened for sure anyway, the items discussed during the meetings have not been made public. Who knows, Teresa could have been offering the 8 with certain conditions, that Dale Jr (and Hendrick) turned down because they wanted it outright (again, the "my way or the highway" attitude). I'm not saying this happened, but I'm not discounting it either.
In a way this is probably better for Dale Jr in the long run. He has a fresh start with Hendrick and that fresh start also includes a new number, whether it has an 8 in it or not remains to be seen (rumour has it as #81 right now), but it won't have the shadows of DEI looming over it and that might be even more important than having the 8 altogether.
8n't Going To Happen
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