Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS ON NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP THE NO. 8 NEXT YEAR: "It's her (Teresa Earnhardt) number, it's her decision, it's just unfortunate. My personal feelings are disappointment but like I said, I kind of...
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Monte Carlo SS
ON NOT BEING ABLE TO KEEP THE NO. 8 NEXT YEAR: "It's her (Teresa Earnhardt) number, it's her decision, it's just unfortunate. My personal feelings are disappointment but like I said, I kind of knew that it was going to be hard to convince her to let us have it and that's the case. So we'll just have to.I've already been thinking about what other direction I want to go and we'll do that."
WHAT NUMBERS HAVE YOU BEEN THINKING ABOUT? "When I'm ready to decide and tell everybody I'll tell everybody then. I'm not going to tell you everything that runs through my head but we got some pretty neat stuff that we talk about. I mean it's a lot of fun, sort of building what we're going to do next year, everybody at JR Motorsports, my sister and all the staff there and everybody at Hendricks have been working together really well. There's great communication going back and forth and a lot of great conversations about what our options are and what not. We definitely were planning to have to go in this direction so we got our game together and whenever we decide and whatever we decide, I think that I'm going to be excited about it. I think my fans will be excited about it and we just kind of get over the idea that we're not going to be number 8 no more, which I'm fine with that, and hopefully my fans can do the same and we'll build on a new identity."
ON BEING 14TH IN THE STANDINGS AND 100 POINTS OUT OF THE TOP 12 AND HOW HE LOOKS AT THE SITUATION WITH FOUR RACES REMAINING IN THE REGULAR SEASON: "Well, it's really, really frustrating to have such good cars over the last month, month and a half and have potential top five, potentially wins possibly, but sure top 10 finishes ruined and go by the wayside with issues and gremlins, a lot of stuff that's in our control. And we tore up a lot of motors because of either my mistakes or some kind.like this weekend we had a bad master cylinder in the clutch. Someone had put it together backwards and it slit the clutch, burnt the clutch out and cost us a lot of practice time and it may have hurt the motor. The motor turned about 9900 in qualifying and in a few laps in practice and you know that's not good on the valve train. That's what we saw last week and we over-revved the motor. So it's unfortunate finding ourselves in these situations because we've had great cars. I've had great cars all year. I've got great motors. I'll be the first to tell you because I was the first to say when they weren't good. I'll be the first to tel l you now I think DEI's got the best powerplant in the sport right now and they should be really, really proud of that. I myself didn't anticipate them reaching the top level but they're the best. I mean going down the straightaway, nobody can keep up with it especially at a track like this and we want to take advantage of that power and be able to finish the race and we just keep kicking ourselves and beating ourselves. With a few races left we're going to do the best we can. We'll show up with good cars just like we always do and hopefully we can put them in the bag, some of these other guys can have some trouble and we can gain on 'em."
Max Siegel, president of global operations, Dale Earnhardt Incorporated
COMMENTS ON DALE EARNHARDT, JR. NOT BEING ABLE TO CONTINUE TO USE THE NO. 8 NEXT SEASON: "I'm just focused on three things with the company. Number one, we not only have to field competitive cars, we've got to compete for championships and win. Second of all, it's important for me that we're doing things to support our employees - the 500 people that work there; the other four cars. And to make sure that the company heads in the direction of the high standard that Dale Sr. and Teresa set when they started the company. And furthermore, figure out a way to create more resources to invest in motorsports. Now the reaction didn't come as any surprise. I have a pretty open relationship with Dale Jr. and Kelley and I spoke to Marshall and Rick. So I sympathize and I understand his disappointment. I have to do what's in the best interests of the company with the management team and I don't expect the fans to understand.
"The momentum within the company is great. I think the one thing back to the relationship that we all have is sometimes it's difficult to separate business from the personal relationship. And I think the one thing that we all have in common is that Dale Earnhardt, Inc. is a great company that was started by two very great people. And the fact of the matter is we're going to do everything we can to make sure it's successful and make everybody proud."
-credit: gm racing