Dale Jr – DEI to go their separate ways

From the Crossville Chronicle – Crossville, Tn. May 16, 2007

By Joe Dunn / joe@onpitroad.net
MOORESVILLE, NC —- In a surprise move Thursday Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister Kelly Earnhardt-Elledge held a press conference at JR Motorsports race shop, the subject of which was Dale Jr.’s contract with DEI.
Following a brief introduction by Mike Davis, Communications director for JR Motorsports, Dale Jr. stated, “After a year of intense negotiations and intense effort on behalf of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. and JR Motorsports, we’ve decided it is time for us to move on and seek other opportunities to drive for a new team in 2008. We’ve both worked extremely hard to find a common ground, but as the negotiations continued, one thing became evident, we both want to get to the same place, but we both simply have different visions on how to get there. Because DEI means so much to me, I felt it was best now for both of us to start focusing on our future so that we both could come out of this successfully.”
It appeared on Thursday that neither Dale or his sister Kelly have been in contact with any other owners regarding dales availability. Dale did call upon Darrell Waltrip, an old family friend to consult with him regarding the announcement.
UPDATE; by Friday as the teams gathered at Darlington, SC for the Dodge Avenger 500, several owners were confronted by members of the media regarding various teams’ reception to the driver’s availability. Rick Hendrick had not acknowledged any discussions with Dale, while Richard Childress, did express some interest, but indicated that far too little was known at that point to comment further. New team owner Bobby Ginn, Ginn racing was contacted by phone and he indicated his immediate interest in striking a deal with Dale. At the same time JD Gibbs of Joe Gibbs racing expressed an interest but further stated that his company would have ‘issues’ with signing a contract with Budweiser.