Earlier in the week Beyond the Flag brought you coverage of the story about Dale Earnhardt Jr and Graham Rahal possibly setting up a ride swap. Although both drivers race for a different circuit; they both share the same primary sponsor in the National Guard. As a result of sharing the same sponsor it would seem that this swap was destined to happen, or so we thought.
According to a recent report from Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press, one of the biggest hiccups with the swap is manufacturer related. Earnhardt drives a Chevrolet and Rahal drives a Honda. The differences in manufacturers isn’t only a hiccup but it might ultimately be the thing that stops the swap from happening.
Earnhardt having a close relationship with Chevrolet shared his comments in the potential hangup.
Well, he drives a Honda, which is more than just a speed bump. If I wanted to drive an Indy car, I’m sure I could get with Penske or somebody who owned a Chevy and take a couple laps somewhere. But it would have been fun to do that with Graham because of the relationship with our sponsor and the history of our families. I look forward to meeting him one day, but I think the fact he has a relationship with a different manufacturer is going to make it challenging — if not impossible — for me to drive that particular car.
Although this could be a deal breaker, all hope is not lost yet. The fact that the two drivers share the same sponsor is huge and it could be big enough to overcome the manufacturer difference. The two also have history on their side because the manufacturer didn’t matter when Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya swapped rides back in 2003.
In the end if Earnhardt and Rahal want this to happen, it most likely will.
Source: Jenna Fryer, Associated Press