DEI To Appeal Penalty

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - Dale Earnhardt, Inc. announced that the No. 8 Budweiser team that fields Chevrolet Monte Carlos for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Nextel Cup Series, will appeal the NASCAR-imposed post-race penalty that cost the team 25 championship points and $10,000.

Richie Gilmore, DEI Director of Competition, cites that the 25- point penalty under the new 10-race "Chase for the Nextel Cup" format could be devastating with only seven races remaining.

"This is a huge setback for the entire company," Gilmore said. "We're in a sport that focuses its primary attention on the final 10 races of the season and we're racing against formidable teams for a championship. We're facing a setback from a competition standpoint for something that should be considered a personal foul. We have no choice but to appeal the points portion of the penalty."

"I think we're the only sport that takes points off of the board after they've been scored. The popularity of this sport is based on colorful personalities and the fact that everyone can relate to these drivers and their emotions. Now, it seems like that's a detriment.

"Dale Jr.'s comment was made in the excitement of the moment, seconds after he climbed out of the car. It wasn't made in anger or hostility directed at anyone. This whole incident is going to force everyone in the sport to rethink showing any excitement in what should be a jubilant moment.

"We've had hundreds of calls from fans that support us.

"Our sponsors have vowed their support, as well. If nothing else, we can look back at this race and always remember it as one where we were reminded of the loyalty everyone has toward Dale Jr., the No. 8 team and our company."

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