Enough Of The Eight
August 17, 2007 | 8:00 A.M. EST
The news this week that Earnhardt, Jr. won't bring the No. 8 with him to Hendrick Motorsports next year set off a panic among thousands of members of "Junior Nation" not seen since, well Earnhardt, Jr. decided to join Hendrick and team with Jeff Gordon.
Hats, shirts, jackets and no doubt some body art will now be deemed worthless by many loyal members of Earnhardt, Jr.'s army.
Everyone please relax.
I think changing numbers, along with teams, personnel and sponsors is the best thing for Earnhardt, Jr.
Face it, things haven't worked out very well in the years Earnhardt, Jr. drank Bud and drove a red number eight at DEI. Sure he's won some races, but not much else.
With Hendrick he'll have arguably the best equipment in the sport and the chance to make a heck of a lot more trips to victory lane than he has with his current employer, as well as standing on stage at the awards banquet with a championship trophy in hand.
A fresh start should be just that - new team, new colors, new number.
There's abeen a long list of very successful drivers who have changed numbers over the years, and one of them had the last name of Earnhardt. Dale, Sr. won a title driving a car carrying No. 2 before he switched to the legendary No. 3.
So if Driver No. 8 turns out to be Driver No. 81 next year, big deal.
Some of that old Junior merchandise I've seen worn around the tracks lately was getting a little gamey anyways.