From the Marbles - NASCAR

DEI driver / Wolverine lookalike Paul Menard is packing up his adamantium claws and heading to Yates Racing at the end of this season, according to a new report from the AP. This is huge for any number of reasons, not the least of which is because it could spell the end of DEI as a viable racing team. Dale Earnhardt Inc. now has three drivers with just one major sponsor, assuming Menard's daddy pulls his hardware-store sponsorship, a pretty safe bet. Martin Truex Jr. is the last vet standing at DEI, with Aric Almirola and Regan Smith still seeking some kind of major sponsorship.

Yates has had its own sponsorship difficulties this year, juggling sponsors for David Gilliland and Travis Kvapil. But, again, the Menards sponsorship will reshape the landscape for Yates, as well. (Oh, and say what you will about Menard racing on daddy's money; he's 22nd 28th in points, and his daddy wasn't driving the car.)

Teams are suffering all over the place this season, with folks closing up shop and sponsors playing teams off one another. But Menard's shift could end up derailing one of the most significant names in the sport, even if the glory days are long past. It's going to be a fascinating and tumultuous next few months until Daytona 2009, isn't it?

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