Today on "SIRIUS Speedway," on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with John Story, vice president of motorsports operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. about the merger between DEI and Ginn Racing. Host, Dave Moody: "We've been hearing...
Today on "SIRIUS Speedway," on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with John Story, vice president of motorsports operations for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. about the merger between DEI and Ginn Racing.
Host, Dave Moody: "We've been hearing rumors of something like this for quite some time now. How long has it really taken to put this [merger] together?"
DEI VP John Story: "Well, it actually has all come together fairly quickly. There's been a lot of conversation even before Bobby [Ginn] got involved with what was MB2 Motorsports a long time ago. The folks at DEI, before I even joined the company, had gotten to know the folks over here really well and so I think a lot of the work and the getting to know you, if you will, had already taken place between the people in the front offices. So really over the last month it accelerated to a pretty quick pace and it sounds hard to believe that it all happened in a month but you had a couple of like-minded people in Bobby and Teresa [Earnhardt] that really wanted to work together and felt that a merger of their two companies was in their best interests. So it all came together very quickly but it wasn't done with a whole lot of very late nights."
Moody: "What makes this a merger and not an outright sale of Ginn Racing to DEI?"
Story: "It is a merger in the truest sense of the word. Bobby Ginn is now a partner of Teresa Earnhardt's in the business and if there has been a revised entry list that has gone out Bobby is the listed owner of the #01 car, which he has always been, as well as the #15 car, which as we all know the #14 points were transferred to the #15. So Teresa Earnhardt is listed as the owner of the #1 and the #8, Bobby the #01 and the #15."
Moody: "How big a role will Bobby Ginn have at DEI?"
Story: "I think as big as he wants. Bobby is a tremendous guy. He's really a good guy. I've really enjoyed getting to know him. His expertise in the business world is pretty immense and the things that we've talked about, that he and [DEI president of global operations] Max Siegel and others have put their heads together brainstorming opportunities, there's so much that Bobby can do. He'll be the first guy to admit he's not a mechanic certainly. He's not going to come in here and tell us how to set up race cars and how to race. But Bobby's got so much wisdom in the areas that can help us in marketing and sales and promotions. We're going to really lean on Bobby quite a bit quite frankly to help us in that area, the areas of entertainment, and try and take care of our sponsors and commercial partners."
Moody: "On the nuts and bolts side of bringing these two teams together, obviously Ginn Racing has had a deal with Hendrick engines, obviously DEI has its own engine department. Safe to assume that Ginn Racing will come under the DEI umbrella. How quickly will that happen?"
Story: "We've worked quite closely with the folks over at Hendrick and I would say within the next couple of weeks you're going to see the #01 car with DEI engines in the car. And obviously this feeds right into our other venture, the other merger, if you will, that we just went through with Richard Childress Racing and that company as they gain steam and get organized on their own will begin providing engines to all four of the Cup cars under the new DEI umbrella."
Moody: "The garage at DEI is big enough for a couple of teams for sure, not necessarily big enough for four. I know that the Ginn Racing shops are a good deal larger. Are we going to see a mass exodus of all four of those teams over to the Ginn shop? Is that part of the plan?"
Story: "Well, we're still going through the plan. We're sitting down with a lot of chalk and sketching out the way things could be but we truly haven't landed on exactly how we're going to operate going forward. The work has all been done at just making sure the business side of things was taken care and now we have the fun part of sitting down and trying to figure out which cars go where and where everybody sits."
Moody: "Is it too early to say what the management structure of this new merged company will be? You've obviously got yourself and Max Siegel and [DEI technical director] Steve Hmeil and you've got [CEO and GM] Jay Frye over on the Ginn Racing side. Has everybody got their roles established for the future yet or is that still to be done?"
Story: "That's one of the things we're working through. There's a lot of talent involved in this new company that we've put together. We're going to make sure that everybody is in spots that they can have the most success in and we're going to put people in the right spots where they can be most successful and help the company the most."
Moody: "On behalf of race fans around the country, they are all asking why couldn't you have done this deal sooner [so] you might have been able to keep Dale Jr.? How do you respond to all the Red Army fans around the country asking that today?"
Story: "I don't know how you would even respond to that. I mean, I could have done some things differently when I was three years old and I wouldn't be working here today. So you can't look back. We would love to have Dale Earnhardt Jr. in our camp and in this new company going forward. He's been tremendous for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Obviously, we'd love to have him but we also wish him well in the future and we know he'll be successful. He's still part of the family. You can't look back and say, 'What if?' And, quite frankly, you're the first person that has brought that up. None of us have said, 'Gosh, if we'd only done this sooner.' Not once. We've got to look forward, not back."
-credit: sirius radio