Earnhardt’s sister act

Published 1:46 am Tuesday, January 9, 2007

By By Lawrence Keech, WDN Contributer
With the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup season nearly a month away, drivers are turning their attention to rules changes, new cars and new engines. With all the changes taking place, Dale Earnhardt Jr. surrounded himself with less confusion in the form of some familiar faces.
Earnhardt begins his quest with basically the same team he had at the end of last season. But, during a teleconference Monday, he has obviously been getting help from another source as well — his sister, Kelly. Earnhardt says she has been a big part of contract negotiations between he and his stepmother, Teresa, who owns Dale Earnhardt Inc., the company his father founded.
Kelly has been more involved since comments made by Earnhardt’s stepmother, comments that Earnhardt said he has been trying to avoid.
Earnhardt was later hit with a similar question from a reporter, who asked “have you talked with Teresa about her comments directly, and what’s your relationship factor in your decision to stay in DEI?”
That spurred questions about his personal relationship.
But, he said, it’s something he is accustomed to.
That’s where his sister took a big role in the team.
Earnhardt said the pending contract was one of his biggest concerns in the off season.
But, he said, things have gotten more complicated over time.
He said when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of the contract, it had nothing to do with money, but a lot to do with the future.
More important to him, Earnhardt said, was making life simple while still being as successful as possible.