Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Dale Earnhardt Inc. merges with Ginn Racing
When Florida businessman Bobby Ginn (pictured) bought MB2 Motorsports last year, he made a lot of noise about becoming an elite team in NASCAR Nextel Cup. But now the reality of getting sponsorship has forced Ginn to scale back his ambitions. It was announced today that Dale Earnhardt Inc. has merged with Ginn Racing. As of this weekend's Allstate 400 at Indianapolis, DEI will run four cars. Two od ginn's drivers are out of work and one other has an uncertain future. And Ginn just signed another driver two weeks ago.
The four cars that will run on Sunday are #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr., #1 Martin Truex Jr., #15 Paul Menard & #01 Mark Martin. This is where it gets a little confusing. Sterling Marlin was released from the #14 last week and rookie Regan Smith was supposed to drive it starting this Sunday. They have now taken the #14 owner points and transferred them to the #15. Paul Menard is now in the top 35 and is guaranteed a starting spot in the race. Smith will drive in the Craftsman Truck race on Friday but nothing has been determined past that. Smith could replace Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the #8 in 2008.
Joe Nemechek has been released and the #13 has been closed. As a result, the #21 driven by Bill Elliott is now in the top 35 and guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday's race. Ginn signed Aric Almirola a couple of weeks ago and and he will split #01 driving duties with Mark Martin as planned. Ginn Racing has a brand new shop and DEI will move in there immediately. They were looking for a new facility anyway and the Ginn shop is larger than theirs. Ginn also has Kraig Kinser & Ricky Carmichael signed to driver development deals. So there are still some things to be resolved. The biggest thing is Regan Smith's future and the rumours of Kyle Busch talking to DEI. So Bobby Ginn got quite the reality check and I wouldn't be surprised to see other teams close at the end of this season.