The latest buzz regarding Danica Patrick is she very well may end up at Hendrick Motorsports in Dale Earnhardt, Jr’s car. Earnhardt and Brad Keselowski would then move to JR Motorsports in Cup cars supplied by HMS for next year.
Patrick could bring as much as $30 million in sponsorship money. I recall Jr. brings something like $28 mil. I’m sure Mark Martin doesn’t get that kind of pull, and I seriously doubt Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are getting that much jack from their sponsors.
In this kind of economy teams have to get money when and where they can, but to move HMS’s number one earner would be a surprise. Moving Martin would make more sense.
However, logistically I can see why it would be done this way. JRM is going to need new cars next year for the Nationwide Series. BK needs a ride, and if HMS can get $30 mil, why not go for it. JRM would start out with good money in the bank from Jr’s sponsors. Patrick, BK and Jr all have Go Daddy affiliations. Seems to work out.
I just wonder, if this were to happen, how would it affect Jr’s driving. It worked for Stewart, so I guess we’ll see.
FWIW, I confirmed this rumor with a NASCAR writer based in the Charlotte area.