Dale Earnhardt Jr Addresses Cup Team Speculation

Getty Dale Earnhardt Jr, JR Motorsports

The door remains open for Dale Earnhardt Jr to own a NASCAR Cup series team. The former driver and current Xfinity team owner has not ruled out the possibility of purchasing a charter.

When Stewart Haas Racing announced that it would be closing its doors after this season, speculation began on who would acquire one (or more) of its four charters. Stewart and Earnhardt have a long history, but Dale recently addressed his previous expansion missteps during his Dale Jr Download podcast.

Front Row Motorsports obtained one of SHR’s four charters for a significantly lower price than the $40 million charter that Spire purchased last year. Earnhardt has expressed regret over not getting in on a charter when the buy-in price was around $3 million.

Citing the cost, Earnhardt said that his family would not benefit from this kind of investment today. “Personally, I would rather do something else with that money for the benefit of my girls,” Dale said. “There’s a lot of investments and opportunities, right? I’m not buying a charter and putting millions of dollars away into something that I can’t then recoup or sell for a profit.”

Dale insists that if the right opportunity presents itself, he would consider making the jump to Cup.

“Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller) and I have talked about getting into it and we’ve seen some opportunities to do that but it didn’t work out,” Earnhardt said, referring to his sister. “We’re still at the table, talking to different teams about maybe partnering or investing. We’re always open to hearing what someone thinks about our idea of a partnership, but none of them have been like, ‘that’s it, that’s a perfect match man.’ That is what we’re looking for.”

Under the right circumstances, this would be a major victory for NASCAR and motorsports in general. The series has missed Earnhardt’s presence on the television side of things this year, as he did not re-sign with NBC Sports in the winter. He will join the Amazon Prime and TNT broadcast team next year.

Latest NASCAR Charter Negotiations

Charter negotiations continue to be a hot topic around the garage area. Under the latest charter offer to teams, the France family would be able to purchase charters beginning next year. The family has owned and controlled NASCAR Holdings since the inception of the racing series in 1948 by Bill France Sr.

This latest offer lists the time frame of seven years guaranteed with an option for another seven years after that. A team cost cap has also been added to the latest proposal. There is also an option that would allow private equity firms to buy into a charter.

JR Motorsports Xfinity Team

JR Motorsports currently fields four cars in the Xfinity series, which has had limited success. Veteran Justin Allgaier sits fourth in the standings with teammate Sammy Smith in tenth place. Sam Mayer and Brandon Jones are 12th and 13th with four DNFs each. Both Allgaier and Mayer have won a race this season.

If Earnhardt ultimately decides to make the move, there will be no shortage of driver options. In addition to these four JR Motorsports drivers, all four SHR Cup drivers are looking for future rides. This includes all of the team personnel and business staff that will need a new home.