DEI looking to renew Waltrip and Truex

UPDATE #7 DEI is close to signing sponsor NAPA and driver Michael Waltrip to a one year contract with a perhaps three year extension. That according to DEI Director of Competition Richie Gilmore after a series of contract talks at Daytona with sponsor representatives. Gilmore says the deal to sign Martin Truex Jr. took longer than expected and that now it’s important to make sure DEI has three teams to compete with the Roush and Hendrick operations. Meanwhile, Waltrip says has no deadline and "Whenever they’re ready, I’m pretty much flexible to figure out what’s next whenever they are, so I’m happy. I don’t have any issues. I know how it goes and we’ll work it all out." As far as a back-up plan, Michael said “I’ve been doing this for 20-years and I’ve realized that over the years that you better have a plan "B" …if you don’t you’re libel to be out in left field somewhere so I’m just going right along, happy, just riding a good wave right now. I don’t have any demands. It’d be silly for me to make demands when I haven’t heard what the plan is and when I hear the plan we’ll go from there. Everything’s good as far as I know…I don’t know of any reason to be worried." PRN's Garage Pass/Sporting News 07/01/05 Martin Truex Jr. hasn't said why he hasn't yet signed a contract to remain with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but he did say Thursday at Daytona that he is trying to seal a deal. "It's not done yet, and we are trying to get it done," said Truex. At least two top-level Nextel Cup teams have immediate openings for the 2006 season. Truex Jr. is in the final year of his contract with DEI, and as reigning Busch Series champion, it is natural that he has found himself in the rumor mill. For his part, Truex has been mum on his talks with DEI, which are being led by his father. 06/26/05 On Fox's pre-race show for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, Jeff Hammond and Darrell Waltrip were asked who would be in the #2 Penske Racing Dodge. Hammond said he keeps hearing the name Martin Truex Jr. popping up as he still has not been signed by DEI for 2006. 06/06/05 If Martin Truex Jr. signs a new contract with Dale Earnhardt Inc. as a Nextel Cup driver, as DEI officials would like, Bass Pro Shops, a part-time Nextel Cup sponsor for Richard Childress, will become Truex's primary sponsor next season. DEI has offered Truex Jr. a three-year contract. Childress officials says they expect Bass Pro (privately held, with about $1.6 billion in annual sales) to remain a part-time sponsor for Childress' operation. Winston Salem Journal 06/05/05 DEI's Richie Gilmore said on Speed Channel's NASCAR This Morning that they are close to signing Martin Truex. Jr. to a 3-year deal, with a 3 year option, and the contracts are in the lawyers hands. Meanwhile, After beginning the week with three days of team meetings, Director of Motorsports Richie Gilmore said all is well again at Dale Earnhardt Inc. Dale Earnhardt Jr. apologized to Michael Waltrip's crew Monday after spinning his teammate in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Gilmore said he and owner Teresa Earnhardt addressed the issue first thing Monday morning, gathering DEI managers, then crew members and finally the drivers. "We wanted the drivers to talk amongst themselves first," Gilmore said. "That was the most important thing that Teresa wanted to handle was talk about what happened and get past it." Times-Dispatch 05/23/05 Speaking of DEI, the cheers for defending Busch Series champion Martin Truex were deafening during driver introductions for the Nextel Open. It's no wonder Truex was voted into the All-Star Challenge by fans. But when asked to comment on whether an announcement was expected this week on his re-signing with DEI to drive the No. 1 Chevrolet in Cup, Truex declined. Truex, who is fourth in Busch points, has also been mentioned as a possibility for #11 Joe Gibbs Racing seat. Sporting News 05/16/05 Richie Gilmore, director of motorsports at DEI, says he's confident that Dale Earnhardt Inc. will sign Martin Truex Jr. to a new contract soon. Michael Waltrip's situation, though, is not as certain. Truex' contract expires after this season. While there is interest in the Cup garage for the defending Busch series champion, DEI has it set up for him to drive Cup cars full time next year with Bass Pro Shops as the sponsor. "Martin's dad and I talk pretty much every day. I think we'll get back together with (car owner) Teresa (Earnhardt) next week and, hopefully, we'll get something together," Gilmore said. Gilmore says that Waltrip's sponsor NAPA has an option for next season. That leaves Waltrip's status uncertain. "We talked to Michael last week," Gilmore said. "We told Michael that we're trying to get the NAPA deal and then we can sit down and talk with him about talk about the future." Roanoke Times 05/16/05 DEI vice president Richie Gilmore says contract discussions continue with NAPA and #15-Michael Waltrip and with Martin Truex, who is expected to revive the #1 Chevrolet in Cup with Bass Pro Shops as the sponsor. Gilmore says that NAPA is looking at a one-year extension, and DEI would like a three-year deal. Sporting News

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