Hendrick Motorsports mulling Dale Earnhardt Jr. deputy options

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USA TODAY Sports’ Brant James sheds light on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s astonishing retirement decision.
USA TODAY Sports

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Hendrick Motorsports ubiquitous manager Doug Duchardt pronounced a classification has not contacted Carl Edwards about replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a No. 88 Chevrolet subsequent year.

Earnhardt, who started second afterwards ran as high as third Sunday during Talladega Superspeedway until being relegated to a 22nd-place finish since of a lax wheel, announced on Apr 25 that he would retire after this season, his 19th in a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Divulging his preference to owners Rick Hendrick in late Mar gave a group thriving time to fill what would be deliberate one of a many desired jobs in a sport. Hendrick Motorsports, a four-car operation, has won 12 championships during NASCAR’s top level.

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Edwards announced his astonishing depart from Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 19 Toyota in Jan and was transposed by rookie Daniel Suarez. Edwards, 37, who has finished second in points twice and won 28 Cup races over 13 seasons, has avoided deeming himself retired. His astonishing preference and coyness with his destiny skeleton — he’s plainly humored entering politics — has done him provender for contention about a lapse to NASCAR.

Duchardt would not plead if a classification has contacted any other motorist or who it would in a future.

Duchardt pronounced there is no template for a form of motorist Hendrick seeks. Winning in a past or a awaiting of doing so shortly would positively be a must, and a classification tabbed both forms of drivers in Kyle Busch in 2003 and his replacement, Earnhardt in 2008. Busch, afterwards 18, came with high intensity he converted into a Cup pretension in 2015. Earnhardt done a few compromises in adapting to a some-more understated Hendrick indication — flipping his top brazen among them — though differently was authorised to be himself.

PHOTOS: CARL EDWARDS THROUGH THE YEARS

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