By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
Dale Earnhardt Jr. is becoming to be known as the man with the beard, heck his beard at last check even had it’s own twitter account. Despite the fact that people are speculating what is growing out of that beard, or what is stuck in it, people put those questions on hold when Earnhardt speaks. Friday Earnhardt had a lot to say on a variety of subjects.
Earnhardt was asked if the acquisition of Kasey Kahne means he would move JR Motorsports to the Sprint Cup Series if it meant he would have guaranteed sponsorship for the car for 2011.
“Well uh not really, because when Kasey leaves we’re kinda sitting there with tangible assets that aren’t really worth what they cost to build,” Earnhardt said, “That hasn’t been anything I’ve heard that has been talked about or discussed.”
Earnhardt was then asked if he was against taking JR Motorsports to the Sprint Cup Series.
“Not against it,” Earnhardt explained, “I’m afraid that that would, to do that could leave me out to dry financially on that deal once Kasey would leave, and we would have to find another deal.”
Only time will tell if JR Motorsports will be the home or not for Kasey Kahne in the Sprint Cup Series for 2011, but one thing is for sure Earnhardt has stood by his guns. All along he has said he doesn’t really have plans to take his team to the Sprint Cup level, and he definitely didn’t commit to do so today.
Earnhardt then touched on the reason why he “strangley” released driver Kelly Bires from his Nationwide team. Bires had one top-ten finish through five starts of the season.
“A lot of deals in this garage go in with the best of expectations, so I don’t know how it looks any stranger than anything else that has happened in the past,” Earnhardt said, “You know it just didn’t work out. I like Kelly a lot as a person, and I do believe with the right package and the right people that he can have success. He’s shown that. I really had to make, all four of us really made the decision, we made it based on the opinion of the shop, and the opinion of the direction of what we were doing, and what we planned and wanted to do in the future.”
Earnhardt continued to say, “It just wasn’t working out. There was no chemistry, and it was on the verge of going horribly wrong.”
For now Jamie McMurray steps in as the driver of the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series, and what Earnhardt has is a proven winner. Basically McMurray is somebody that keeps the sponsors happy, and he should hopefully boost morale around the shop with improved performance.
As for Earnhardt he will start ninth on Sunday. He enters the Samsung Mobile 500 on a 55-race winless streak, but he comes to a track where he got his first ever career Nationwide Series win (1998), and his first ever career Sprint Cup Series win (2000). Just how big of a difference has Earnhardt felt with the spoiler in place of the wing at Texas?
“I’m sorry, but I don’t have much to say about it. My car is driving fine, and I wont really know much until we get around people. We were in qualifying trim all day, so we ran by ourselves. The Car felt the same,” Earnhardt said.