It looks like Dale Earnhardt Jr. has a decision to make regarding his car for next season. It also looks like the tension between Dale Jr. and Teresa Earnhardt will continue for the forseeable future. Junior's stepmother, Teresa, owns the rights to use the number "8" on cars run by her DEI team, and Junior's new team, Hendrick Racing, wasn't able to acquire those rights.
Hendrick was unable to reach an agreement to acquire the number from DEI, owned by Earnhardt's stepmother, Teresa Earnhardt. Family history with "8" dates to Earnhardt's grandfather, the late Ralph Earnhardt, and has been carried by Junior for his entire Nextel Cup career.
DEI had first right of refusal to continue its lease of the number from NASCAR, which technically owns all numbers assigned to cars.
So Dale Jr., who has been using the number eight for quite a few years, and chose it because his grandfather had used it, won't be allowed to use it next season. And it sounds like Hendrick Motorsports did their best to secure the rights, but that Teresa Earnhardt wasn't willing to budge.
"Obviously, he has a tremendous history with that number, and we know how important it is to his fans. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach a point where the terms made sense, and now we have to move forward with other options."
I have a feeling that when Marshall Carlson, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports, says "we couldn't reach a point where the terms made sense" what he really means is "Teresa Earnhardt wouldn't stop being a bitch for a few minutes to let Dale Jr. keep his old number".
And for those of you that, like me, thought he could just take over his dad's old #3, he would have to strike a deal with Richard Childress Racing.
The No. 3, carried by the late Dale Earnhardt Sr., remains under the control of Richard Childress Racing and has not been retired officially.
This is just another occurence that causes many NASCAR fans to dislike Teresa Earnhardt, and it will be interesting to see how Dale Jr. responds. I'm hoping that he persuades Ricky Rudd's team to let him use the #88 as a way to show his disdain for his stepmom's actions.