We have been following Dale Earnhardt's career almost since its beginning. Many people have speculated over the last few years as to Dale Earnhardt's future. Well, we have been doing some speculation of our own recently, so we decided to put our theory on our site. We will update our theory as the future unfolds.
The following is our theory and some or all of it may or may not come true. We first put this in print to two other Earnhardt fans, Stephen's Earnhardt Factor and The Wizards Earnhardt page within the last 10 days(proir to the creation of this page, 9/29/98).
Dale Earnhardt has a new race shop on his
property that will house six teams (fact).
This first part of our theory we sent to the Wizards on September 20, 1998, after the Dover race. Please note this was written prior to the Budweiser sponsorship announcement which was made on 9/21.
Ok here goes........
We believe Earnhardt and Childress may part ways in the near future. Dale already has a new race shop that can hold six race teams.
We think Dale Earnhardt, Inc. already owns the #17 that Darrell Waltrip used to drive. You haven't seen it since the Tim Beverly deal went a little squirrely. We think Dale will give Darrell Waltrip a farewell ride in it in 1999.
The Budweiser deal with Dale Jr for a limited race schedule in Winston Cup next year is a prelude to them sponsoring either Dale Sr or Dale Jr full time in the year 2000.
By the year 2000 Dale Earnhardt will be driving for himself along with Dale Jr and maybe Steve Park as teammates. Steve is a question mark depending on his performance the rest of this year and next year. It could be somebody else like a Mayfield or Kenseth if Park doesn't pan out.
I think you will see Dale Jr work with Dale Sr (like teammates are supposed to) so he gets his 8th Championship in the year 2000 while Dale Jr wins rookie of the year.
As to the Number 3 car.... Maybe Dale will buy the rights to it from Childress or just drive the number 1.
As for GM Goodwrench I think they may go with Earnhardt after all they have designed the new Monte Carlo for Dale and will even call it the Intimidator.
So my speculation is:
However it shakes out I really believe Sr and Jr will be on the same team in 2000 and Dale will win his 8th Championship. I feel this is the reason he is trying to stay out of trouble and not get hurt and that his interest seems "not focused" right now.
The man has a plan.... I believe that.
Ok, now if you have made it through the first part without leaving stay tuned. Here is the rest of the theory as we put it in writing to Stephen of the Earnhardt Factor on September 26, 1998.
Blk3GM's Earnhardt Theory Part 2...........
Ok, Stephen, that is the general idea of my theory. Now since I wrote this to Dena on Sunday the following has happened.
1. Budweiser signed the largest deal in the history of Winston Cup for a sponsorship with DEI and Dale Jr. A 6 year contract reportedly worth 10 million per year.
2. Dale Earnhardt already has 108,000 sq ft race shop (200,000 sq ft total in 4 buildings) on his property that is large enough to house 6 teams. In addition he announced this week that he is building another building just for frame and body fabrication. It appears he is going in-house with his own development.
3. In the Bud press conference Dale Sr mentioned that Tony Eury (crew chief for the #3 Busch car) was moving up to Cup and jokingly said he would take Tony and the crew with him in 2000. When asked what Jr would do for a crew he said they already have one in place. My guess is Dale Sr would take Tony Eury and Dale Jr get Tony Jr until we see the 8th Championship.
4. DEI hired Steve Hmiel this week and he started to work for Earnhardt on Thursday (9/22/98). Steve is a darn good guy and will be a real asset to DEI. Roush was stupid for letting him go (firing him actually over tiregate because Steve spoke out and said he did not believe it was the tires that was making the 24 team successful).
5. Again you haven't seen the 17 car since the Beverly deal went sour and Beverly's troubles may not be over with yet. Darrell is in a Pontiac this week (NAPA Autocare 500 at Martinsville 9-27) and will be for the rest of the year due to the Tabasco deal.
6. Another one to watch is Terry Labonte. It looks like he may break his contract with Hendrick at the end of this year and move on. Where ?
7. That would be two blows to Hendrick. Loosing Bud as a sponsor and T. Labonte as a driver. Makes you wonder if the people inside highly suspect foul play???? Or are they just getting tired of playing second fiddle to the rainbow team!
8. Darrell Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt are good friends and I think the brief time Dale put Darrell in one of his cars this year, while Steve Park was recovering from injuries, was not only to insure his car (the #1 Pennzoil car) would make races with Darrell's provisional status but a preview, or test if you will, of possibly putting Darrell in a DEI owned car for a farewell tour.
Ok other notes of interest.........
9. During the Bud press
conference Dale said very quickly in response to a question about which 5 race Dale Jr
would drive in, one of the reporters asked if Phoenix would be one of the races. Dale Sr
said probably and that they may put him in the Phoenix race THIS YEAR!!!!!
10. Chevrolet has delayed the
release of the New Intimidator Monte Carlo. Picture this.....New 2000 Intimidator Monte
Carlo is released by GM and the Intimidator, Dale Earnhardt, wins the 8th Championship.
Talk about win on Sunday, sell on Monday!!! DEI is already testing the new MC even though
NASCAR hasn't decided what to do about "common" templates yet.
11. Pennzoil will be in the loop with DEI for a long time. My brother has a close relationship with Pennzoil and they have told him on more than one occasion that they would spend ANY amount of money to have Dale Jr and Dale Sr on the same team. (Footnote: Pennzoil bought Quaker State earlier this year).
12. Also, during the Bud press conference Dale Sr was asked about his future and he was very vague as to what he personally was doing. He mentioned his contract with Childress "til" the year 2000. (I would have to listen again but I think that is what he said).
13. Dale Sr and Childress have had some real ups and downs over the last 6 or 7 years.
14. Also announced this week
is the possibility that Mike Dillon will be driving a Childress owned Busch car next year.
Dillon is Childress' son-in-law. (Could Childress be trying to groom a replacement for
15. I cannot substantiate this but I think several years ago when Dale Earnhardt bought Sports Images (he only owned it for about a year and now it is part of Action) I also think he bought the rights to the # 3. I cannot verify that but I seem to remember something about it. It had to do with marketing, etc...
Things are beginning to shape up fast and I think by early to mid season next year we will have a better picture, if not sooner.
Dale Earnhardt has hunted with some of our friends from Mississippi and they told me about 2 years ago that on one of their hunting trips with Dale he said he was going to win the 8th Championship but he was going to win it on his own. (this is second hand information so please keep that in mind. I did not hear that from Dale personally)
That is my Earnhardt Theory in a nutshell. Now, that's my $0.03 worth.
All right now let me know what you think.
Ok, a new insight to our theory appeared on Jayski's Silly Season page September 29, 1998, and we quote:
"Ok, here is a wild RUMOR! -- I HEAR Darrell Waltrip is going to drive a third car for DEI (Dale Earnhardt Inc.). This is going to be DW's farewell tour and the team will be sponsored by Budweiser, with logos like the old days. This is supposedly why Bud moved to DEI early. They will still sponsor Dale Earnhardt Jr. in both 1999(5 races) and from then on but they wanted in to get the DW tour. A company set up by DEI and the advertising arm of Budweiser will market all the collectibles for the tour. They want to announce this tour in a couple of weeks at Daytona. Supposedly a car is just about ready and DW was at the shop yesterday morning fitting the seat and pedals. Jayski Notes or Questions(not looking for responses or speculation): Didn't DW say last year that he wouldn't drive again for a beer sponsor because of his family views? Will this possibly be a combined effort with Tyler Jet Motorsports? I guess we'll find out by Daytona, or this will fizzle into the rumor abyss."(Jayski's 9-29-98)
"UPDATE: Folks, I think I may be getting hoaxed on this one, I have checked with many sources on this deal, and no one else can confirm anything about it, except that DW and DEI are talking. The Bud thing seems to catch everyone off guard. Basically if this rumor was a stock, I wouldn't buy it yet." (Jayski's update to his above report 9-29-98)
HOAX UPDATE 2: Folks, See this rumor/story? After wasting a lot of my time and my sources time, it looks like it a fabrication of some reader with nothing better to do. I should have checked it out better, my fault totally. I will have a further update on DW and this situation later today, I aplogize for wasting everyone's time(Jayski's 2nd update 9-30-98)
HOAX THE END. The Darrell Waltrip driving a Dale Earnhardt Inc Chevy sponsored by Bud is TOTALLY FALSE. I could not confirm or substantiate the rumor. The person who sent it came clean and I jumped the gun yesterday even reporting it. I apologize to all and will be more careful in the future.(Jayski's final update 9-30-98)
A FOLLOW-UP: On the most recent(Wednesday 9-30-98) Winston Cup Today Radio program, Darrell Waltrip dispelled the DEI rumor(that I posted) and said 1999 would not be his last season. He said that if he does have a farewell tour it may be in 2000 if at all.(Jayski's update 10-1-98)
Our note on Jayski's comments:
We are still developing our theories about
Kerry Earnhardt. It looks like he may have a Busch Series ride with another car owner next
year, but somebody will have to fill the Earnhardt owned Busch Car when Dale Jr moves up
to Winston Cup full time. We will keep you posted on the developments in this part of our
Please note, other than the quote from Jayski's, the above Earnhardt Theory is only OUR speculation! Some of the items we have stated are already fact and other items are purely our attempt to glare into the future. It is very possible that Dale Earnhardt will finish out his contract with Richard Childress Racing through the year 2000 and still win his 8th Championship.
Whatever occurs, rest assured that Dale Earnhardt will be involved in NASCAR and Winston Cup Racing for a long time to come and that other drivers will still have to contend with the INTIMIDATOR.
(Please know that we in no way are trying to compete with Jayski's Silly Season Page as his comments cover all drivers, teams and owners. We visit Jayski's site daily and recommend you do the same. Our site is dedicated to the Earnhardt's and this is the news that is relevant to our site)
(Update 10-1-98)The following report on the formation of an Aerodynamic Alliance between Dale Earnhardt, Inc.(DEI), Richard Childress Racing(RCR) and Andy Petree Racing(APR) is a very interesting move. One that will certainly help Chevrolet compete better against the more aerodynamically designed Ford Taurus, but also may lend credibility to our speculation that Dale Earnhardt may race for his own team in the future.
Aerodynamic Alliance.... In a move that we may see again in the future of Winston Cup, three former co-workers, who now own their own race teams, have entered into an agreement with Automotive Aerodynamics, Inc. (AAI) and its founder, Louis Duncan. Richard Childress Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Andy Petree Racing will form RAD Aerodynamics (Richard, Andy and Dale, get it?) to handle all the aerodynamic engineering for their three NASCAR teams in partnership with AAI. The agreement is effective December 1, 1998, exclusive to these teams, and a multi-year arrangement. Each of the teams will have full access to and share all of the information among themselves, including wind tunnel and track testing data. This is some of the most closely guarded information teams collect, so this is an unprecedented alliance of teams not owned by a common owner, i.e., Jack Roush or Rick Hendrick.
Louis Duncan founded AAI in 1983, and his most recent aero contract was with Ford Motor Co. to supply aerodynamic support to all its Stock car programs: WC, BGN, ARCA and NCTS. What the press release doesn't emphasize is that Duncan has been "Mr. Aero" with Ford for many years and that he was fundamental in the development of the new Taurus. With a new Monte Carlo body coming on-track the (speculated) first quarter of 1999, Duncan's expertise will give these GM teams an edge.
The recent hiring of longtime Ford crewchief Steve Hmiel to Dale Earnhardt, Inc., and Duncan's switching from Ford to GM, is indicative that the competition for technical talent is heating up. Duncan and Hmiel have in the past pored over many a set of wind-tunnel flow numbers and worked the metal over at the track for optimum performance. They'll get to do so for some time to come it seems.(9-30-98 TNN Motorsports Aero Alliance Story)
(Update 10/23/98)We find the following update from Jayski's site quite interesting in light of our above predictions about Darrell Waltrip. Nothing is conclusive but it just kinda makes you say "hmmm".
Tabasco to Move? Tyler Jet to SELL? UPDATE The StockCarFans Newsletter reports: ...heard from a source that Tabasco will be pulling their sponsorship from the #35 team(Tyler Jet) for 1999 (probably no great surprise), and may put their name on another car (a whole new team).... just rumor at this time, but fairly strong.(SCF) - Well I hear that Tabasco wants out of Motorsports and will not be back in 1999 AND that Tyler Jet is looking to sell the team now. No word on what DW may do, but as he has said he plans to drive until the end of the 2000 season.(10-21-98)(From Jayski's Site)
(Update 10/24/98)Dale Earnhardt may buy Darrell Waltrip's team from Beverley??? We saw the following update about Tyler Motorsports and Darrell Waltrip at Jayski's site which was reported in the Journal Now.
Beverley to Sell? Part II Tim Beverley, the Texas businessman who bought Darrell Waltrip's team earlier this year, may be selling that team, according to NASCAR sources. And a man possibly interested in buying it? Dale Earnhardt, who would not only wind up with some choice property near Charlotte Motor Speedway but also a piece in the marketing of Waltrip's farewell tour. Waltrip has struggled the past few years and hasn't won in quite a while, but he ran Earnhardt's own cars as Steve Park's sub this summer and did quite well, in a marriage that worked surprisingly well.(JournalNow)(10-24-98)(Reprinted from Jayski's Silly Season Page)
(Update 10/30/98)From Jayski's site we see that for now the possibility of Earnhardt buying the Beverley Team is off. But time will tell. This rumor has kept surfacing throughout this year and as the saying goes, "where there is smoke there is fire"
Beverley Says NO Sell? Part III UPDATE I heard from Tyler Jet Motorsports and this is the response to SELLING rumors: Despite published rumors, Tim Beverley has not had any discussions with Dale Earnhardt Inc., about the sale of Tyler Jet Motorsports. Tyler Jet Motorsports is not for sale, not closing down, and not downsizing. We are actively pursuing future sponsors as well as continuing talks with the McIlhenny Corp. Beverley is personally negotiating with Mr. McIlhenny to resolve the current situation, and we are very optimistic about Tabasco's continued involvment in the sport. Our plans are to field a competitive Winston Cup car, as well as expand into the Craftsman Truck Series, and we are anticipating a very promising future. We have a great group of people working toward bringing this team to the winner's circle.(10-25-98)(Jayski's Silly Season Page)
(Update 10/30/98)On RPM2nite we heard that DEI will obtain the #8 from the Stavola Brothers Cup Team. The #8 Stavola Bros Chevy will race at Atlanta with Morgan Shepherd behind the wheel. The team has also agreed to give up the #8 to Dale Earnhardt Inc after the 1998 season. Earnhardt's late father, Ralph used the #8 during his NASCAR career. The Stavola's will also shut down operations of their team if they do not find sponsorship for the 1999 season by Nov 19th.
(Update 11/01/98)Tabasco bails on Waltrip and Beverley at the end of the 1998 season. Very interesting as it appears as if this whole deal with Beverley, Waltrip and Tabasco has gone sour. It has been plagued since the beginning and this seems to be the end of the relationship. Will Beverley sell now??? Will Earnhardt buy???
Courtesy McIlhenny Company...Avery Island, La. - RaceWire - McIlhenny Company, makers of TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce, announced today they have come to an amicable agreement with Tim Beverley and ISM Racing Corp. to complete the 1998 Winston Cup season. Darrell Waltrip will remain as the driver of the No. 35 TABASCO® Pontiac for the final two races of 1998.
"McIlhenny Company made a major commitment to NASCAR Winston Cup racing in 1997 for the 1998 season and we have exhausted every effort to ensure the success of our marketing efforts in the sport," said Paul McIlhenny, president and chief operating officer for McIlhenny Company. "Since entering the sport of NASCAR, we have developed a connection with the NASCAR fan that is invaluable to the TABASCO® brand.
"We feel honored to be a part of the family of NASCAR, and are pleased we have come to this agreement. We can look forward to a successful conclusion to 1998. Darrell Waltrip has been a great addition to the TEAM TABASCO® family. He is a legend in the sport, an excellent spokesperson and he has done an outstanding job representing the TABASCO® brand."(11-01-98)(Press Release - Race Wire) Our Comment...A very polished way of saying, "It has been nice knowing you..."
(Update II - 11/01/98) On TNN's Raceday Broadcast today (11/1/98) it was announced that Darrell Waltrip has announced his resignation from Tyler Jet MotorSports effective at the conclusion of this season. At this momemt it is uncertain where Darrell will wind up as a driver and it makes us wonder if Tim Beverley will sell now?!?!? If you haven't read our whole theory return to the top of this page.
(Update III -
11/01/98)Tabasco and Beverley,
who purchased the team earlier this season from Waltrip, have been embattled in a
controversy surrounding the sponsorship of the team over the past few months. It was
announced Friday that Tabasco would remain as the sponsor of the No. 35 Pontiac for the
remaining two races of the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series season, but Beverley said the
two parties will part ways following the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend.
(Update 11-02-98)Beverley also has offered to let Darrell Waltrip out of his contract, an option that seems to thrill the veteran driver.
"I'd like to be with an organization that understands marketing," Waltrip said. "It needs to be with a major sponsor. Someone that needs a sponsor that can sell products as well as get the job done on the race track. I can't go to another start-up team. There are all kinds of teams in the garage area right now that need a Darrell Waltrip, but I don't have that time." (11-02-98)(Richmond Times Dispatch)
(Update II - 11-02-98)Darrell Waltrip is pushing hard to get a ride with Dale Earnhardt next season, but Ty Norris, the manager of Earnhardt's Winston Cup operation, says that there are no plans to field a team for Waltrip.
''Darrell comes to us every week and asks 'How's my car doing?' '' Norris said with a laugh. ''But there's no way we could do another team.
''However, after what Darrell did for us this summer (in an impressive stint as substitute driver for injured Steve Park) we'll do anything to help him get a ride.''
Waltrip said that his next season might be his last as a Winston Cup driver: ''I need to go to a team that is established pretty good, with some sponsor that wants to maximize the last year or so of my career.''
Waltrip said he might well be calling it quits right now ''if I hadn't had the success I had in the Pennzoil car (for Earnhardt). I sure want to prove I haven't forgotten how to drive.(11-02-98)(Journal Now)
- 11-09-98) Darrell Waltrip wants to go out in style...
"I'll race next year for sure. I'm not sure under what kind of scenario. I was thinking about racing in '99 and 2000 because I thought I needed to put a plan together, so next year will be kind of a get back into a sponsorship relationship and build some identity and then try to go out of here in the year 2000. But if somebody laid a plan before me now and said, 'Look, let's make next year your last year,' I'm interested. I just want somebody to come to me and say, 'Look we want to help you go out in style.' That's all I really want to do. I want to go out in style, be competitive, and if I can win a little bit, sell a bunch of souvenirs and model cars and that and go home." (11-09-98)(ESPN2)
(Update 11-15-98) Darrell Waltrip is still looking for a ride for 1999. He will be substituting for Dale Jarrett in the # 88 Ford in the Coca-Cola 500 in Motegi, Japan. However, it is rumored the Waltrip is really trying to get Earnhardt to buy Buz Mcall's team so the he can have a ride for next year. At this point Earnhardt does not appear to be interested in the deal. However in our opinion, we still think that Earnhardt could provide a farewell tour ride for Waltrip in 1999.
(Update 12-29-98) Darrell Waltrip,
K-Mart and Travis Carter...Well, I guess we
missed this one by just a little, although Dale Earnhardt was talking with Waltrip and was
prepared to put a deal together if the K-Mart and Travis Carter deal fell apart. So if you
haven't heard it by now here's the official news...
Well, now that Ole DW has a ride we will concentrate our Crystal Ball on the Earnhardt's once again. However, keep in mind that Silly Season is no longer just from mid-season to the end of the season. In recent years it begins right after the conclusion of the Daytona 500 and continues through the year so we'll keep an eye on Ole DW, just in case!
This page was born on September 29, 1998
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Blk3GM's Dale Earnhardt Site was born on
July 26, 1998 and is owned and maintained by Gary Harris. This site is a
tribute to "NASCAR's Greatest Driver" and his up and coming son. We are
not affiliated with any official Team, Sponsors, Media Group or NASCAR. This site is
solely for entertainment purposes. Information and statistic's on this site have
been collected from various NASCAR related sites on the internet, from Winston Cup Scene,
Newspapers, Television and our personal experience at Winston Cup and Busch Grand National
races. All statistics are believed to be accurate at the time they are updated but
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