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Shift in ownership interest at JR Motorsports revealed

Dale Earnhardt Jr reveals a shift in ownership interest at Nationwide Series outfit JR Motorsports
Dale Earnhardt Jr had a lot more to think about than Danica Patrick's foray into NASCAR racing when he met with a group of reporters after receiving the NMPA Chex most popular driver award for the seventh straight year.

Earnhardt revealed Thursday after the Myers Brothers awards ceremonies at the Venetian Showroom that his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, and his cousin and former crew chief, Tony Eury Jr., each had acquired ownership interest in JR Motorsports, which had been a 50-50 joint venture between Earnhardt and Rick Hendrick.

Though Earnhardt said talks with Patrick were "still in the negotiation stages," finding sponsorship for JRM's two Nationwide Series cars is a far more pressing problem for the organisation. Earnhardt currently has sponsorship for half a season for the #88 Chevrolet driven by new hire Kelly Bires and for four races for Earnhardt in the #5 Chevrolet.

"All the percentages changed, and I don't think that's really important," said Earnhardt, who declined to specify the ownership stakes of the four principals. "That's probably personal to the business itself, but their involvement in the company … me and Rick don't make money racing in the Nationwide Series. We don't do it to make money.

"I have that company there to employ a lot of family and to have fun and to enjoy what there is to enjoy about the sport,” he said. “Otherwise, being an owner's not very enjoyable in most cases, unless you're winning championships and whatnot. We're a Hendrick team per se, and we get the support and the resources, but we race against pretty tough competition in that series."

Earnhardt said his sister was the person directly involved in the negotiations with Patrick, the best known driver in the IndyCar Series, though not the most prolific winner.

"Her and my sister are sort of managing that entirely," Earnhardt said. "I have not been in any way, shape or form involved. She's going to drive stock for somebody -- someday. Look at all the Formula One guys over here looking around, checking it out. The handwriting's on the wall for her and several other guys."

Earnhardt's immediate concern is trying to find funding to keep Bires on the track for a full season. Brad Keselowski, who drove the #88 Chevy to consecutive third-place Nationwide Series points finishes in 2008 and 2009, is leaving to drive for Penske Racing in the Cup and Nationwide Series.

Earnhardt said he had been trying to talk Eury Jr. into serving as crew chief on his #5 car. The team parted ways with crew chief Brian Campe, Earnhardt said, after learning that Campe was looking at opportunities elsewhere.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News



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Dale Earnhardt Jr - Hendrick Motorsport   [pic credit: NASCAR/Getty]
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Martin Truex, Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Sunday, July 26, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for eighth position Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana. Earnhardt, Jr. is fourth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Following in second place is Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, takes the chequered flag, Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars And Stripes Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday July 5, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, affixes the winner’s decal to his car in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 6, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Stars and Stripes Chevrolet, and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, lead the field prior to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 5, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr, driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position Saturday July 4, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. Earnhardt Jr. was awarded the pole position based on his practice lap of 202.284 mph from Friday. Sprint Cup qualifying was canceled Saturday due to weather.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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