Dale Earnhardt Jr. still working on deal

Updated: August 9, 2011, 8:16 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- More than two months after team owner Rick Hendrick said a contract extension with Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. was all but signed, the two sides still are working out details.

But there's nothing in negotiations that NASCAR's most popular driver believes will prevent him from staying at Hendrick Motorsports when his current deal is over following the 2012 season.

Earnhardt
Earnhardt

"Kelley and Marshall are hashing it out, so I guess they aren't agreeing on everything just yet," Earnhardt said on Tuesday, referring to his sister Kelley Earnhardt and HMS president Marshall Carlson. "But hopefully they'll get it all sorted out."

Earnhardt began negotiating an extension with HMS last season. Hendrick told ESPN.com in late May that all major terms had been agreed upon and that the deal, between three and five years, should be completed in a month.

Hendrick said again at Infineon Raceway in late June that the deal was almost complete.

"We did (agree), but there are things me and him don't even think about," Earnhardt said as he helped promote the 50th anniversary of the upcoming night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in front of his Charlotte club, Whisky River. "But they're not arguing. They're just sorting through it.

"That's why Kelley does it. I'd just be like, 'Man, what's the number? All right, that's a good number. Let's do it.' I guess there is more to it than that."

Earnhardt said his focus was on Sunday's race at Watkins Glen International and staying in the top 10 in points necessary to secure a Chase bid. He currently is 10th, 23 points ahead of 11th-place Denny Hamlin.

"I'm aware (of the points); I look at them," Earnhardt said. "I don't dwell on it and I don't let it bother me. I don't get into it too seriously because I just want to focus on the next lap and run the next lap wherever that place is.

"... All of your thoughts about the points or worries about the points and responsibilities to the media, all those things you've got to keep away from what you actually do on the racetrack."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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