Dale Earnhardt Junior is leaving the company founded by his late father when his contract with Dale Earnhardt Incorporated expires at the end of season. The shake-up is certain to ignite a bidding war for NASCAR's most popular driver.
Earnhardt had asked for 51 percent ownership of the team now run by his stepmother, Teresa. Contract negotiations began before the start of the 2007 season. Earnhardt's sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, had set a deadline to get the deal done by the end of the month. The two have adamantly stated that their only goal is to help Junior win Cup championships, something he's been unable to do at D-E-I.