Nascar's Rick Hendrick Has a Plan for the 88 Team

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent IMay 14, 2009

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 09: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 on May 9, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Word around Charlotte is that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will leave Charlotte in two weeks with  a couple good runs or a couple new people on his team...just kidding, I just made that up. But it demonstrates how easily rumors can get started.

But back in the real world, team owner Rick Hendrick does seem to have some kind of vague time table. In an interview with Viv Bernstein at the Charlotte Nascar Examiner, team owner Rick Hendrick was asked about Dale Jr.'s pit problems. He said;

“Every time we have a problem like that, there’s a reason it happened,’’ Hendrick said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “We’re focused on that, too.

“Sometimes you try so hard you make more mistakes, and we’ve got a lot of people committed to doing better. So let’s see what happens in the next few weeks.’’

It appears likely that Hendrick will make a decision sometime after the Coca-Cola 600.

Rick also reminded us that the 88 team was their best team in the early part of the 2008 season. He went on to say that the team lost some people from last year. Most people are aware that the 88 team has gone down hill since it lost Darian Grubb.

He went on to say, “I know everybody’s impatient. I’m impatient. I’m by nature a little bit of a procrastinator. And until I can see that we’ve done everything we can, the last thing I want to do is tear something down because it’s been good before. ... I’m doing everything I can do right now. Hopefully, after the next two or three races, we’re going to see big improvement.’’

Junior nation is definitely impatient. But I think deep down they have faith in Hendrick to get the Earnhardt Jr. team winning again.