Junior to meet with DEI representatives


Representatives of DEI and Dale Earnhardt Jr. will meet on Wednesday to discuss Dale Jr.'s contract and ownership stake in the team.

Earnhardt Jr., his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, who serves as his business manager, DEI competition director Richie Gilmore, and DEI's new president, Max Siegel are expected in the meeting.

Teresa Earnhardt, the owner of DEI who also is Earnhardt Jr.'s stepmother, will not be at the meeting, by design.

Gilmore said the parties wanted to try to keep the emotions to a minimum, and they wanted to keep Teresa Earnhardt and Dale Jr. separate.

Dale Jr.'s contract with DEI expires in 2007, and he said during testing at Daytona that he wanted a greater stake in DEI, the company that his father started. Gilmore says the ownership stake in the team is still the major determining factor in the contract negotiation process for Dale Jr.

Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. He can be reached at ESPNsider@aol.com.