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Dale Earnhardt Jr “Still At the Table” To Invest In a Cup Team

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What’s Happening?

The impending shutdown of Stewart-Haas Racing means that four charters are available for race teams to purchase, with one reportedly having no suitor. One such team that’s always in the charter conversation is JR Motorsports with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller. In an episode of the Dale Jr. Download, Dale Jr. recently teased that they are still actively searching for a way into the Cup Series, but he offered a bleak outlook on outright owning a charter.

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been very vocal about his hopes to become a team owner in the Cup Series someday. However, he has also admitted that he may need to find a creative way to do so, aside from getting a charter.
  • In this podcast, Earnhardt Jr. reiterated many of his previous statements and gave some insight into his work, which could potentially put some of these ideas into action.
  • Fans are clambering for JRM to end up in the Cup Series. Dale Jr. has avid fans to this day, and they all want to see him involved in the Cup Series somehow.

What Would Dale Jr. Get Out of Owning a Cup Charter?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. first discussed the overall return on investment he would get from outright owning a charter. Buying a charter means investing a lump sum of money into owning a race team, and it’s money that he will never get back unless he sells the charter. That’s not something he wants to do, and, with other interests, is that the best way to spend his money?

If I park that money in that charter, it’s not like a piece of stock that I can turn around and sell. If you’re going into ownership you’re in it for life, and it would be something that you would probably pass on to your kids, right? Me personally, I would rather do something else with that money for the benefit of my girls, and so, I can take that and there’s a lot of Investments and opportunities, right?

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Dale Earnhardt Jr.

He later goes on to say that if he buys a charter, he doesn’t want to buy it just to turn around and sell it. He views that as a major disservice to his own legacy and his family’s philosophy.

I feel like that that would be wrong of me, because of our Legacy and my last name, to buy into charter then turn around and sell it a couple years later and try to reap a profit. If you’re going to get into this, you got to get in with commitment, not for the money, not for the not for the potential. We’ve always raced to go win a race and compete, not thinking about it as a way to profit.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

If Dale Jr. buys a charter, that’s money he may never see again. If he has other things he wants to do with his generational wealth, what is he getting in return for buying into a Cup Series team aside from just another race team? He doesn’t want to do it just to make a small profit by reselling a charter, he wants to build something for the next Earnhardt generation, and he questions whether or not this is the best investment.

Another Option

What else can the Earnhardt family do if buying a charter is not an option? According to Dale Jr., they are actively discussing with other teams the potential of partnering with and investing in another current Cup Series team.

We’ve had a lot of conversations with everybody, and we’re still talking to people to be quite honest with you. We’re still at the table talking to different teams about maybe partnering or investing. We’re always open to hearing what somebody thinks about what our what a partnership with us would look like, but none of them to this point have been like ‘oh man that’s a win, win.’

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Dale Jr. has alluded to something like this before. He joined Sirius XM NASCAR Radio in May and expressed interest in potentially investing in a current Cup Series race team in the wake of an expensive charter market.

However, nothing has come to fruition to this point. It will take some major sacrifices from Dale Jr. to make that investment. Meaning he and Kelley may not be able to have as much control as they originally thought they would have.

For the longest time, me and Kelley thought if we were going to race in the Cup Series, we wanted to own and operate. We wanted to race it out of our building. We wanted to be able to choose crew chiefs and and mechanics. We wanted to be the reason, or be part of why the car was either successful or winning races or doing well on the track. Trying to part from that is tough because if we’re doing something with a partner, or something already existing, we’re not going to be making any decisions

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Does Dale Jr. want to invest in a race team he cannot control? He admits that he has difficulty accepting that reality should he buy into a Cup Series team. As the head of JRM, he and Kelley and their shareholders are used to controlling everything and owning the race team. Investing would be a major change how they operate.

Unfortunately, Dale Jr. admits that times are changing, which means his ideal dream of owning and operating a team may be out of reach.

Changing Times

Dale Jr. admits that it’s “Challenging” for open or start-up teams to be competitive in the Cup Series due to the new car. He says it’s more expensive than it ever has been, and few people know how to effectively work on the car. This means teams cannot enter the sport the way they once did.

I miss the days where you could just build a car in the shop, and decide ‘Hey we’re going to go enter this race’ The cars are more expensive than they ever were, and it just feels really unrealistic.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

To his point, only four races in the Next-Gen era (since 2022) have seen a full grid of 40 cars. 50 of this era’s first 87 races (57.4%) have seen no Open cars on the starting grid. To get into the Cup Series and consistently be competitive, a team has to own a charter, which Dale Jr. isn’t sure he can get.

I’m not saying no to anything, but, right now, it doesn’t look favorable for us to ever own a charter outright. Something major would have to change in the sport.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Will we see JRM in the Cup Series anytime soon? Probably not, unless something changes. However, Dale Jr. is happy with the team’s current state.

We still love being in the Xfinity Series, and I really say that with all honesty that being in the Xfinity Series is a lot of fun. We serve a great purpose there for the series, and for the sport. We provide a lot of opportunity not just for drivers, but lall of our employees and the people that come through our shop and all those crew chiefs that want to make it to the next level, the Cup level. I love the purpose we serve there.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

What do you think about all this? Let us know on Discord or X what your take is, and don’t forget you can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and even YouTube.

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