NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson Feel Confident in Future with Hendrick Motorsports

Two of the biggest names in NASCAR racing have no contract extension with their employer, yet. Make no mistake though, neither Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Jimmie Johnson seem to be worried at all. Johnson’s seven Championships and Earnhardt’s undeniable effect on the sport mean that both have very little to be concerned about as they enter negotiations.

Johnson has amassed 80 wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, along with a record tying seven Championships. The driver of the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet told reporters Friday, that he was confident something would be worked out soon.

“We’re always talking and working on the details,” Johnson said. “We don’t have anything ready yet. I’m sure we’ll announce before long. As you can tell, I’m not really concerned. I feel very confident we’ll put something together with Lowe’s as our primary sponsor.

“Hendrick [Motorsports] is my home. So, I’m not worried when something will actually be executed and at what point it will be executed but I know it will happen soon.”

Johnson’s entire NASCAR Cup Series career has been under the umbrellas of both Hendrick Motorsports and Lowe’s. Johnson expects neither of those things to change with his next contract.

Earnhardt Jr.’s future with Hendrick also seems safe. However, with 18 races missed in the 2016 season and concerns during the winter months of Junior’s readiness for the 2017 season, talks of contracts and money were pushed to the side as he evaluated his health and readiness to compete. The series’ most popular driver for 14 straight years, Junior knows his place in the sport is secure. It is simply a matter of ironing out finer details.

“It’s only been a few races, but I feel really good and we have had some discussions about planning to get together,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “It’s not something I put on the shelf for sure, we are getting closer and closer.

“I have done some things that I really think have gave me a lot of confidence in the car and in my ability to continue to race. I’m not in any hurry to sit down and have those discussions, but we have been chit-chatting a little bit about that we need to go ahead and start heading in that direction.”

More information will be available at Frontstretch.com as news develops on this story.

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Sol Shine

What exactly is Earnhardt’s “undeniable effect on the sport”? Other than he has a ton of fans who for some reason think he is a chip off the old Ironhead block. And he isn’t, not even remotely. Aside from keeping those delusional fans within the sport, he has accomplished little in Cup. Certainly he is the biggest underachiever ever. My brother is a huge Jr fan, he is totally uninformed about racing, does not understand the most basic parts of racing tech and knows little about the hard nuts of the business, but he loves Jr all to hell because he’s Dale Earnhardt’s son. Brilliant reasoning. I just don’t get it.

rg72

Absolutely right. This is the elephant in the room that few people care to address. No matter what screwy format NASCAR has used to pick a champion, he has never been close.
You may not like Johnson, but he has a resume to respect. The best this article can credit Jr. is being the most popular driver 1000 years running and sharing a last name with another 7-time champion.

Tom

I can think of 5 guys you could put in that car and do better.

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