DEI Prez happy with Dale Jr. contract negotiations

Team Infidel

Forum Spin Doctor
Dale Earnhardt Inc. President of Global Operations Max Siegel said Saturday he is pleased with the way negotiations are going with driver #8-Dale Earnhardt Jr. but would not talk about specifics. "The lines of communication are open," Siegel said Saturday night prior to the Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. "It's not prudent to talk about the substance of the negotiations. Everything is moving in a positive direction." Earnhardt Jr., son of the late Dale Earnhardt and stepson of owner Teresa Earnhardt, is under contract through the 2007 season. "It's a top priority for us," said Siegel, who started Feb. 1. "Things have a natural rhythm to it. So as long as we continue to talk about [it] and as long as we continue to focus on it, I think it will resolve itself when it is supposed to." On Thursday, Earnhardt Jr. said he wanted to own a majority of the team. "I try not to read the press, so I can focus on making sure that we can reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial and keeping him part of the family forever," Siegel said. Siegel, a former gospel music executive, met Wednesday with Earnhardt Jr. and his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, who handles Earnhardt Jr.'s business affairs. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Dale Jr.," Siegel said. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kelley and Teresa Earnhardt. I just want to focus on the issues we need to focus on to have a long-term relationship."(