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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/7149222

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Dale Earnhardt Inc. was working on a deal Thursday to put Mark Martin and Aric Almirola in its flagship No. 8 next season in a split schedule.

DEI has been looking for a driver since Dale Earnhardt Jr. said in May that he would leave his late father's team at the end of the season. DEI later acquired the contracts for Martin and Almirola when it merged with Ginn Racing, and the company wants the two of them to split the ride in 2008.
"If there's anyone who can represent Dale Earnhardt Inc. in the No. 8, it's Mark Martin," said Max Siegel, president of DEI's global operations. "But no official decision has been made yet as to what we are going to do."

The No. 8 is closely tied to Earnhardt, who had hoped to take it with him to Hendrick Motorsports next season. But negotiations for the rights to the number broke down between the driver and Teresa Earnhardt, his father's widow.

Earnhardt said his stepmother made ridiculous demands and he was forced to forfeit the fight for the number. Facing public backlash for holding onto the number, DEI now needs to fill the seat with a respected driver.

Martin would certainly fit the bill.

The longtime veteran is one of NASCAR's most popular drivers and is well-respected in the industry. He's running a partial schedule this season, and has indicated he'd like to do about 26 races next year - including the two All-Star events.

Although he started the year splitting the No. 01 for Ginn with Regan Smith, his co-driver was switched to Almirola right before the DEI merger. Siegel said if the deal can be finalized, Almirola would drive the car in the races Martin sits out next season.

It still leaves the No. 01 seat to fill at DEI, which has four teams since the merger. Martin Truex Jr. and Paul Menard already have deals for next season at DEI, and team officials are reluctant to make a long-term commitment on the final seat.

Siegel said he's considering using 2008 as a "bridge year" for the No. 01 car, which would be filled by a driver on a one-year contract. That would give the team flexibility to recruit from next year's free agent class - which is expected to include at least Greg Biffle, and perhaps Ryan Newman and Bobby Labonte - or to develop a younger driver.

The current contenders for the No. 01 are believed to be J.J. Yeley and Smith, who has been in limbo since the DEI-Ginn merger. He raced two weeks ago on the road course in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and is scheduled to drive the car again next month in New Hampshire.
 

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Vengence is Mine
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I think any driver getting behind the wheel of the red number 8 car next year is just terminating his own career. JMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Who's to say it will be red? I think the average fan knows that any anger should be directed at that overbearing bitch Teresa.
 

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It will not be a red #8 for starters, DEI should know better for that stand point. Martin for starters would never put himself in that senario!! Jr. I think stated this weekend that Theresa was just being a businesswomen, a bad one on this circumstance, in letting Jr. go. Unfortunately I have to watch every race next year without Jr. being in the #8 Bud car.
 

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I don't think Martin would have done it without talking to Jr first. I just wished he stayed in the #01 car.
 

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Wasn't Martin going to retire like three years ago?
 

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Yeah, but Martin can't let go, he retired from being a full time driver last year. Right now he is a part-time driver for the 01 car!!!
 
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