Editor’s Note: A merger between Ginn Racing and Dale Earnhardt Inc. was announced effective 12:45 this afternoon. Stay with Frontstretch for all the latest news and opinions regarding this major announcement. Feel free to consult the following Frontstretch sources for all the information you need.
Bobby Ginn: The Gambler Rolled Snake Eyes
by Tommy Thompson
Turn That Frown Upside Down: Ginn/DEI Merger Has Upside All Around
by Vito Pugliese
Official Press Release
Dale Earnhardt Inc., already one of the world’s premier racing organizations, has become even stronger through a merger with Ginn Racing.
Effective immediately, the team will feature the Chevrolets of Paul Menard, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin and Aric Almirola. Martin and Almirola will combine to drive the No. 01 Army Chevrolet for the remainder of the 2007 season as well as the entire 2008 season. Menard drives the Menards Chevrolet, Truex drives the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet and Earnhardt handles driving duties of the Budweiser Chevrolet. All four entries are inside the coveted Top 35 in Nextel Cup points heading into this weekend’s Brickyard 400.
Regan Smith, who was originally slated to drive the Ginn Clubs and Resorts Chevrolet in the Brickyard 400, will instead compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Indianapolis Raceway Park Friday night in the Ginn Resorts Chevy Silverado. Specific schedules for Martin, Smith and Almirola will be announced later.
In addition to NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competition, the company will continue to field entries in the NASCAR Busch Series, the NASCAR Busch East Series and will analyze its future involvement in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
“This merger is great for both companies,” said Max Siegel, president of global operations for DEI. “Our stated goals included an expansion to four cars as quickly as possible and, in order to do that, we had to acquire more shop space. This relationship with Bobby Ginn and his company allows us to accomplish both which makes this a perfect transaction.”
The numerous teams of Dale Earnhardt Inc. will operate from both the original facility built by Dale and Teresa Earnhardt as well as the nearly 180,000-square-foot facility currently housing Ginn Racing’s teams. The buildings are less than five miles apart in Mooresville, N.C.
“When I purchased Ginn Racing last year it was done with a goal of fielding a multi-car effort capable of winning races and championships,” said Bobby Ginn. “We came very close to winning the season’s biggest race earlier this year with Mark [Martin] and today we feel as if we have done one better by partnering with a company with the legacy of Dale Earnhardt Inc.
“Our performance has been strong, as evidenced by our top-10 position in owner points with the [No.] 01 car, but we know that having the opportunity to be part of a four-car effort provides significant benefits.”
Dale Earnhardt Inc.’s current management team will be responsible for all day-to-day activities and transition plans have already begun to develop.
John Story, vice president of motorsports operations for DEI will oversee the expansion of the company’s racing efforts.
“The combined resources of the companies are tremendous,” Story said. “Ginn Racing just completed the installation of a seven-post rig. With our recently formed R&D team, as well as the combined efforts of two strong engineering programs, we will be able to stay on the cutting edge. Both companies have many talented people. All of our teams will undoubtedly become stronger.”
In completing this merger, points on Ginn Racing’s No. 13 car, which was 34th in NASCAR Nextel Cup owner points, have been eliminated.
“NASCAR’s cap of four teams per company meant we had to give something up,” said Ginn. “We felt so strongly about this merger that we surrendered the intangible value of the [No.] 13 car. We all were completely comfortable that the benefits of working together far outweighed the value of points.”
“There are three huge benefits to us – the real estate, Mark Martin and an ability to work with Bobby Ginn on strategic development projects that Teresa has been planning for years,” Siegel said. “The value of additional square footage is easy to see, but the value that Mark will bring to our company is harder to measure and may be even more impactful. Mark has pledged his complete support to our young drivers and our entire company in an effort to make us all better. Given his stature in the sport, this type of benefit cannot be quantified.
“Teresa and Bobby have discussed some very high level strategies concerning her development objectives and who would be better to partner with than Bobby? This is a win-win relationship in its truest form.”
(Courtesy Dale Earnhardt Inc. PR)