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Gentlemen, start your tattoo guns.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start completely anew in 2008 -- new team, new sponsors and now, new car number.

Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports officials confirmed Wednesday in separate e-mail statements to ESPN.com that they were unable to reach an agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to bring the No. 8 to HMS with Earnhardt.

"We've been working hard to secure the No. 8 for Dale Jr.'s car number next season," Hendrick GM Marshall Carlson said. "Obviously, he has a tremendous history with that number, and we know how important it is to his fans. Unfortunately, we couldn't reach a point where the terms made sense, and now we have to move forward with other options.

"We appreciate the efforts of Max Siegel and his team [at Dale Earnhardt Inc.], and are excited about unveiling our plans for 2008 in the near future."

Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, Junior's sister and business manager, echoed Carlson's thoughts.

"Our hope was to carry the No. 8 with Dale Jr. to his new team, but the last proposal Hendrick Motorsports received from DEI just wasn't viable," Elledge said.

"It was a difficult decision, but all of us agreed that it was best to move in another direction. There's disappointment, of course, but we look forward to working with Hendrick Motorsports on what will be a great program for Dale Jr. and his fans in 2008."

Elledge said there is no specific timetable on announcing Earnhardt's new number. What number his car will carry has not yet been determined, but Earnhardt has told ESPN on multiple occasions his preference is 81. He has run 81 at times in the NASCAR Busch Series.

Earnhardt has driven the No. 8 his entire Nextel Cup career.

DEI officials were not immediately available for comment.
 

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I understand wanting "your" number, but didn't anyone explain to him how much more revenue will be generated from new merchandise.
 

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This will give Earnhardt the opportunity to design a new 'logo' around his new number. I think he will use some number in the 80's, same style and slant as his current number 8 .

Change is good, unless you got a tattoo.

Late!
 

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83 might be nice... A tribute to his father AND grandfather...

Its a shitty deal, however, that DEI wants to keep that number so badly. I can't imagine Dale Sr. would have wanted his team to nickel and dime over stupid crap like this the way Teresa has done. I don't think DEI will EVER bring home a championship.
 

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Meh, I didn't think DEI would bring home a championship even if Jr. would've stayed. Truex is a couple bad races from having no DEI car in the chase. I also think 83 would be a great idea, but it wouldn't surprise me to see something like 85 or 84 to keep in line with the other HMS cars.
 

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Here's another rumor from jayski.com (which should be like the bible for NASCAR fans)

RYR asked NASCAR to transfer the #38 to Hendrick for Dale Jr.: SPEED's Bob Dilner reported on Sunday's SPEED report that Robert Yates Racing has asked NASCAR if they could transfer the #38 to Hendrick Motorsports in 2008 for Dale Eanrhardt Jr. to use, the #3 in honor of his father, the late Dale Earnhardt, who ran the #3 [a few races in 1981 and then from 1984 until the 2001 Daytona 500 and won 6 of his 7 championships using #3] and the #8 of course is Dale Jr.'s car #8 since he came into the sport. No word what number David Gilliland would switch to, but RYR still has the license on the #28, last used in 2002 with Ricky Rudd and has used the #90 in the past.(8-27-2007)
If this happens, you can count me amongst those who have recently changed their SN. I REFUSE to be associated with anything Junior. In fact, I should've changed my SN along time ago, cus i don't even like Gilliland.
 

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Yup, them are some ugly cars all right. They just don't fit in with the other Hendrick cars. Even the red #'s instead of yellow. Oh well, not a Jr. fan anyway. But how about that new #9 Bud Dodge, It looks pretty cool.
 
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