This #8 thing is getting old, get over it Dale!

As seen on Speedwaymedia.com – September 1, 2007

By Joe Dunn / joe@onpitroad.com

Am I the only one that thinks this whole deal over what number car junior drives next year has gotten way out of hand? I mean, I like Dale Jr., I really do, but this is sounding like a spoiled kid who’s kicking and screaming over what number is on his car?
Dale and his sister made a decision, and it appears they made that decision about a year ago, that he was leaving DEI. For those who dispute that, the 51% demand was the signal he was leaving. It was a business decision that both Dale and Kelly felt was the right decision for him, and with that I have no problem. They had to know (or should have) that the number 8 would not be leaving with him. DEI like all car owners have a lot of money and time invested in making their number a major part of the marketing plan. So to think they would be willing to ‘give up’ the number was ludicrous.
We all know now that the final decision is that the 8 will stay at DEI so why all this whining? OK, I can’t have 8, how about the 81, 83, 85, 58 and the latest 38. The audacity of these folks to go to RYR and actually ask that they ‘give up’ the 38 so Dale could have it shows how low this whole thing has gotten. Do they really think that that number mean so little to RYR? Well here is what Doug Yates had to say about that idea, “Dale Jr., since he can’t have what he wants, he might want the 38, It’s almost a little strange. It’s like somebody asking if they can take your girlfriend or your wife out.”
Dale Jr. and his fans want him to keep his number because of the family tradition it carries, after all Dale’s Grandpa, Ralph Earnhardt drove the number 8. But what they all seem to ignore is that Ralph drove a total of 51 races in Nascar’s top series between 1956 and 1964. In those races he drove cars numbered 5, 6, 16, 17, 22, 31, 54, 59, 70, 73, 75, 88, 91 and 188. However Ralph NEVER drove an 8 car in the Top Nascar Series, But he did drive a 5. The numbers he used the most were the 75 and the 22 (11 races for each)
Dale signed on to drive for HMS and it is clear that it was to drive the 5 car, so it is time to accept that fact. The 5 is the heart and soul of HMS, First Cup car, First Cup Win, a Cup Championship, Ricky’s number, HMS will have a 5 car in 2008, the only question is who will drive it. Is it really fair that Casey Mears has to change numbers just so Dale can have his way? Junior’s fans will support him no matter what the number on the car is (except maybe the 24) so I for one thinks it’s time to stop all the nonsense and make it official, Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the number 5 Chevy Impala of Hendrick Motor Sports starting in 2008. Sponsor(s) to be announced soon.