NASCAR & Auto Racing

What’s in a number? Big money

The latest rumor about Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s car number involves the No. 38, with at least two reports this week that Robert Yates Racing had been approached about giving up that number for Earnhardt Jr. and his 2008 team at Hendrick Motorsports.

Indeed, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Electronic Search System, the No. 38 is one of five numbers for which Hendrick Motorsports recently has applied for trademarks for a wide array of products that could be used in marketing the Earnhardt Jr. team.

Applications were filed Aug. 9 for the 38 and 51. Earlier applications were filed on July 5 for the No. 81 and on Aug. 2 for the 58 and the 82.