Commentary

DEI in a moving mode with acquisition of Ginn facilities

Kansas notebook.

Updated: October 1, 2007, 12:40 AM ET
By Terry Blount and Angelique Chengelis | ESPN.com

DEI DOINGS

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Max Siegel, president of Global Operations for Dale Earnhardt Inc., said the facility DEI inherited in the merger with Ginn Racing has been renamed DEI West.

Siegel said Sunday that the No. 15 Chevrolet team and the No. 01 Chevy operation already have moved to the DEI West building. The No. 8 team and the No. 1 operation will stay at DEI headquarters until the end of the season.

FRANCHITTI DEAL CLOSE

Dario Franchitti
Franchitti

Team owner Chip Ganassi said he is hopeful to have a contract with reigning Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti signed this week.

Franchitti, who remains under contract with Andretti Green Racing in the IndyCar Series, is joining Ganassi's NASCAR Cup team for the 2008 season.

The plan has been for Franchitti to compete in the ARCA race Friday at Talladega Superspeedway. But Franchitti is scheduled to run the American LeMans Series event at Road Atlanta on Saturday for AGR with teammates Bryan Herta and Tony Kanaan.

"Hopefully it will be done this week and hopefully he'll be in Talladega -- hopefully," Ganassi said Sunday before the Cup race at Kansas Speedway. "I'm working hard on it. I've been working on it every single day. He likes to race. He wants to be here."

-- Angelique S. Chengelis

"We don't want to do anything to disrupt the 1 [Martin Truex Jr.] or the 8 [Dale Earnhardt Jr.] right now," Siegel said. "Those teams work really well together."

Truex is DEI's one driver in the Chase.

After all the Cup teams move to the new facility, current DEI headquarters will house all the administrative offices, along with the Busch Series team and Busch East operation.

Siegel also said he hopes to make an announcement within two weeks on a new sponsor for the No. 01 Chevrolet. Siegel confirmed that DEI has decided to continue to use 01 as the number.

HALL OF FAME AND GIBBS

Tom Garfinkel, the new co-owner of Hall of Fame Racing and the No. 96 Chevrolet, said Sunday the team hopes to continue it's partnership with Joe Gibbs Racing.

That would mean Hall of Fame Racing would join Gibbs in moving from Chevrolet to Toyota in 2008.

"We're still working on it and should know something within a week or two to get it finalized," Garfinkel said. "But we expect to be with the Gibbs organization in the future."

HMS MANIFOLD PRESSURE

Doug Duchardt, vice president of development at Hendrick Motorsports, said he was "shocked" Saturday when the No. 5 Chevrolet failed inspection after Kyle Busch won the Yellow Transportation 300 Busch Series race at Kansas Speedway.

Officials took the intake manifold off the car because of modifications made to a piece inside the equipment. Officials plan to conduct a more detailed inspection at the Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C.

Any possible penalties will be announced later this week.

Duchardt said Sunday that NASCAR's concern stems from the team's interpretation of manifold rules. He also said that particular manifold has been used by Hendrick at a variety of 1.5-mile tracks since the last race of 2004 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

-- Terry Blount

Terry Blount covers motorsports for ESPN.com. He can be reached at terry@blountspeak.com.

Angelique S. Chengelis is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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