On Wednesday, Dale Earnhardt Jr. stopped by SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for an interview, and during the chat, Earnhardt went in-depth on his interest to move his NASCAR Xfinity Series team JR Motorsports to the NASCAR Cup Series, and where he stands in the process of making that happen.
While Earnhardt and his sister Kelley Earnhardt-Miller have been attempting to obtain a Charter for the NASCAR Cup Series for a couple of years, they have currently hit an impasse in their quest to make it to the Cup Series.
“There is zero movement on our end,” Earnhardt explained. “You know me and my sister Kelley, L.W., and everybody at JR Motorsports are always looking forward to an opportunity to get into the Cup Series. We’re interested in that, but it has to make sense.”
The elephant in the room, that is acting as a blockade for Earnhardt is the financial burden of purchasing a Charter to be one of the 36 locked in teams in the NASCAR Cup Series field. In recent months, Earnhardt has been very vocal about the price of Charters on the Dale Jr. Download, but the market is the market. And people have been paying top dollar to own a team in the highest form of motorsport in the United States.
Right now, it doesn’t make financial sense for Earnhardt and his family to drop the capital to make a Charter happen for JR Motorsports.
“I think beyond just trying to get into the Cup Series, I think about my own family, my kids, their future, and what I need to do,” Earnhardt stated. “What’s smart for me personally, financially, to make sure that long after I’m gone, everything is in good order. For me personally to take such a large risk, financially, I feel like I’m being a bit selfish.”
While Earnhardt doesn’t feel right covering the complete cost of a team Charter in the NASCAR Cup Series, he is more than open to a partnership with another entity to pull off the move of JR Motorsports to the NASCAR Cup Series. Earnhardt says there have been suitors, but none have panned out just yet.
“Me and Kelley would be more interested in a partnership of some kind to get ourselves to that level. There are opportunities there, but they haven’t felt just right,” Earnhardt said.
Part of the crux of the situation for Earnhardt is that he doesn’t simply want to be a figurehead or someone who doesn’t have control of the direction of the race team. That doesn’t interest Earnhardt or his sister at all.
“We don’t want to slap our name on a current product, or current organization, they have their own shop and all that. We don’t want to do that,” Earnhardt emphasized. “We want to run the team out of our building and manage the decisions on personnel, and all of those things. Checking all of those boxes is hard. All of the opportunities that have come our way haven’t checked those boxes. I don’t think we’re willing to compromise just to be there. That’s not a reason to do it.”
If Earnhardt doesn’t find the deal he feels is the right fit for his family and JR Motorsports team, he is clear that he simply will not be moving the organization to the NASCAR Cup Series. And at the end of the day, he shouldn’t.
💰 "We're interested in that, but it has to make sense." – @DaleJr
— SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Ch. 90) (@SiriusXMNASCAR) July 12, 2023