CONCORD, N.C. - Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are good friends and although on different teams, they have acted as teammates at times on the track.
Could they also be co-owners of a Sprint Cup Series operation?
There has been much talk about Stewart's possible departure from Joe Gibbs Racing and an opportunity to acquire an ownership stake in a Cup program. Haas CNC Racing had been mentioned as one possibility.
Several sources have confirmed to The Charlotte Observer and ThatsRacin.com that JR Motorsports, which currently fields two Nationwide series teams and is owned by Earnhardt Jr., is also an option.
Under this scenario, JR Motorsports would field at least two Cup teams and likely abandon its Nationwide program or scale it down significantly, sources said. JR Motorsports already receives chassis and engines from Hendrick Motorsports and could continue that relationship on the Cup side.
Earnhardt Jr. actually mentioned the possibility during his weekly driver availability on Friday when he was asked if there was a chance his organization would move to the Cup level.
"I used to say no way, no way. But it's almost as expensive to run in the Nationwide Series. And they're going to bring a (car of tomorrow) in and we won't be able to race in the Nationwide Series with the CoT probably. That'll just be too expensive to switch all that over," he said.
Earnhardt Jr. said the move could come as soon as next season.
"If the right opportunity comes along with the right sponsorship and driver, we'd love to do it. And it would cost the same amount of money to do that, as it is to run the Nationwide Series."
Martin Truex Jr. and Stewart were offered up to Earnhardt Jr. as possible drivers, but he seemed to laugh it off.
"For the first year coming out of the box, man, we'll struggle like hell. Come on, man. (Truex) is going to have deals offered to him by these great companies around here and from DEI. ... I don't know with Tony (Stewart) if he goes over (to Haas), he might be able to talk Martin into it. But I don't know, man. I mean no way would I even do that to Martin, even if he wanted to."