Earnhardt Jr. says DEI dropped appeal to skirt tougher penalty

Updated: June 1, 2007, 9:51 AM ET
By Marty Smith | ESPN.com

If you ask Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Earnhardt Inc., didn't drop the appeal to NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow penalty against the No. 8 team just because they presumed they had no shot at winning.

They were actually concerned it may get worse.

In this week's edition of Unrestricted, Earnhardt Jr's weekly radio show on XM Satellite Radio, that "there were some discussions about forcing the [No. 8] car to have to qualify for every event."

In other words, he's saying NASCAR contemplated stripping the team's guaranteed position in the field for being among the Top-35 in owner's points.

"We were worried that if we went to appeal and it didn't go, you know, somebody said a cross word and upset somebody, or something didn't go right, it could become a worse penalty, and [we] decided to drop it and just take our lickings," Junior said.

This weekend's event at Dover will mark the second of six events that No. 8 crew chief Tony Eury Jr. will miss as part of a six-week suspension for placing illegal wing brackets on the car at Darlington Raceway.

Eury also received a $100,000 fine, while Earnhardt Jr. was docked 100 driver points and Teresa Earnhardt 100 owner points.

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