Wednesday, July 25, 2007

DEI to absorb Ginn Racing

Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Ginn Racing will announce this week that DEI will absorb Ginn Racing, multiple sources have told NASCAR Scene.

The merger will make DEI a four-car team as it adds the No. 01 car primarily driven by Mark Martin.

It is expected that the No. 14 team of Ginn will have its owner points transferred to DEI's Paul Menard, who currently is outside the top 35 driving the DEI No. 15. The points transfer would put him in the top 35 in owner points and guarantee a starting position in the field.

That could leave Regan Smith, who had shared the No. 01 ride with Mark Martin until being named driver of the No. 14 team last week, out of a job. It was unclear whether Smith or Aric Almirola, recently named as the co-driver of the No. 01 car, will share the driving duties with Martin the rest of the season.

The No. 13 team of Ginn, which was driven by Joe Nemechek until his release last week, will be eliminated along with the No. 14 team because DEI cannot have more than four full-time teams, according to NASCAR rules.

Bobby Ginn bought MB2 Motorsports last year and expanded the two-car Nextel Cup team to a three-car operation along with a Busch Series team.

But only the No. 01 team sponsored by the U.S. Army had full sponsorship. The No. 14 team had a partial sponsorship, and the No. 13 team had virtually no sponsorship.

DEI will eventually move its Nextel Cup operations to the Ginn Racing headquarters, according to a source close to the situation.

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