Sunday, August 12, 2007
Biffle, Yeley among group being considered to drive No. 8 car
By David Newton
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Greg Biffle, Regan Smith, J.J. Yeley and David Reutimann are among the drivers being considered for the No. 8 car at Dale Earnhardt Inc., a source close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Don't count Mark Martin out, either.
Biffle is under contract through 2008 at Roush Fenway Racing, so he's a long-shot for next season.
But should he opt to sign with DEI for 2009 and not be released by Roush, there's a scenario in which Martin and Aric Almirola split the No. 8 next season and Smith moves into the No. 01 currently shared by those drivers.
Then in 2009 Biffle would move into the No. 8 that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is vacating after this season so he can drive for Hendrick Motorsports.
DEI officials also are high on Reutimann, whose contract with Michael Waltrip Racing expires after this season.
Reutimann said he hasn't spoken to DEI officials.
"Whatever is being said is without my knowledge," Reutimann said. "But who wouldn't be thrilled to have their name mentioned with DEI."
Ty Norris, the executive vice president of MWR, said the organization would like to re-sign Reutimann but that is contingent on sponsors that are evaluating their position with the team.
Yeley acknowledged on Friday that he has talked to DEI officials, as well as those from Richard Childress Racing and several other teams. Yeley became available when Joe Gibbs Racing agreed on Monday to put Kyle Busch in the No. 18 next year.
RCR owner Richard Childress said Yeley is one of several drivers under consideration for his fourth team. Scott Wimmer also is on the list.
DEI officials have acknowledged that Smith, who came as a part of the recent merger with Ginn Racing, also is an option.
Smith drove the No. 01 in Sunday's race at Watkins Glen International and has been added to the schedule for the September race at New Hampshire.
David Newton covers motorsports for ESPN.com.