Hendrick Motorsports announced today that driver of the No. 88 National Guard/Amp Energy Chevy Dale Earnhardt, Jr. has asked for and been granted a release from his contract.
This is coming on the heels of the lap-125 wreck in the 51st running of the Daytona 500, which involved Earnhardt clipping Brian Vickers' Red Bull Toyota, sending him spinning up the track.
This same day, Earnhardt announced that he would also field JR Motorsports in what he called "the next premier league"—the ARCA Re/Max Series.
In the press conference held at his Mooresville, NC shop, Earnhardt said, "The ARCA schedule fits my life better and gives me time to do the important things in life like sleep. Hell, they have 50 days off between their Daytona opener and their next race at some Salem speedway. Hell, I hope they give me directions to get there. I've got no clue where it's at."
On the same day, the ARCA Re/Max Series officials made an announcement that ESPN has signed a contract to cover all ARCA races and will show qualifying, practice, final practice, and a two-hour special everyday entitled ARCA Junior Style.
"ARCA has now moved to the forefront of auto racing," ESPN officials said.
When asked by reporters about Earnhardt's announcement, NASCAR president Mike Helton said, "It's a sad day in NASCAR and it's a sad day in my life. Junior's souvenir sales alone was enough to keep NASCAR afloat. What will we do? I mean, I just purchased a brand new home in California for business purposes, I might add. How am I going to keep it when NASCAR goes under?
"As the president of NASCAR, I don't even think we will have the money to get back to Atlanta. The France family have already had lawyers looking at filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy."
ARCA legend Frank Kimmel also told reporters he was sad and happy Earnhardt was coming to the ARCA series.
"I'm happy, I mean someone may actually know my name and know I've won nine championships in this series," he said. "On the other hand, I'll probably never win another race."
NASCAR team owner and driver Tony Stewart said, "Junior beat me to it. I've been thinking of this option ever since two years ago at Charlotte when we had so many blown tires. I mean, they use Hoosier tires, not these crappy Goodyears we use. Junior may just be the smartest man to ever be a driver."
Also in the press conference Kelley Earnhardt Elledge—JR Motorsports President—announced JR Motorsports will field Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as driver of the No. 8 Burger King Chevy starting on Apr. 5 at 2:15 pm, when the ARCA Re/Max cars hit the track at the Salem Speedway in Salem, KY.
After the announcement Bruton Smith said he had sold all of his Speedway Motorsports tracks.
"Junior's decision to leave NASCAR left me in a serious bind," he told reporters. "I mean, I'm a billionaire and I couldn't sell out a track without the Junior Nation. I mean, some weeks that's all you see is the green team in the crowd. Who comes to see Jimmie Johnson or Jeff Gordon? I mean, you know how many beer cans we clean off the track when they win?"
Even US President Barack Obama said, "I don't know why everyone made a big deal out of him wrecking that Vickers kid. Who cares anyway? I thought there were wrecks in racing. As President of the United States of America, I am deeply saddened that NASCAR is to now be blamed for another 700,000 job losses in these tough economic times."
The first person NASCAR fired was the official that held Earnhardt one lap for pitting outside the box. Next was driver Brian Vickers. NASCAR stated those two people were to blame for all of this. If not for Earnhardt being held a lap he would have never been a lap down, and if not for Vickers not following code and moving over and letting Earnhardt by, none of this would have happened.
Junior to the ARCA Series! If you found this story funny and would like to join my ARCA Re/Max community, please visit my site to become an official ARCA-holic today.