Dale Earnhardt Jr. set to take over DEI trademark from step mother Teresa after years of bitter feud 

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction

According to the latest reports, Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently applied for the trademark of #8 font which his stepmother Teresa Earnhardt currently holds. Teresa and Junior have a long history of feuding over DEI, the organization Dale Earnhardt Sr. built, left on a high when he died, but one that soon spiraled into a chaotic mess.

As per Brake Hard Blog's post on X, Dale Earnhardt Jr. holdings applied for the #8 trademark, which would expire on June 3.

This could mean many things for the future of all the parties involved.

One potential outcome could be Earnhardt Jr. making the first move in finally taking back control of DEI from Teresa Earnhardt. But that could prove to be a long, complicated path for Junior, given their history.

Another outcome could be Earnhardt Jr. taking the first step towards joining the NASCAR Cup Series after tasting success for years and years in the Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports. But the chances of that happening are also slim because the #8 number is owned by Richard Childress Racing.

The most likely outcome with Dale Earnhardt Jr. registering the #8 trademark font could be using it to release some throwback merchandise or paint schemes.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. once lost his calm on Teresa Earnhardt over not being paid

At the end of the 2003 season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Michael Waltrip showed up in front of Ty Norris, the executive vice president of DEI at that time, demanding answers as to why they hadn't been paid for many months.

This incident was narrated by Norris on an episode of the Dale Jr. Download back in 2021. Norris told the two drivers that the account from which they were to be paid was managed by Teresa Earnhardt. So a "mad as hell" Junior decided to confront her, demanded answers, and subsequently lost it, despite being advised to keep it professional.

"Been waiting down here for three damn hours! Y’all haven’t paid me! You’ve breached my contract," Norris recalled Earnhardt yelling at Teresa. [12:05]

Norris claimed that he tried to mediate, but it became bitter, and "it was over." He told Junior that he had said what he wanted to say and he didn't want to stick around any longer.

Allegedly, this confrontation left Teresa believing that she was ambushed by Norris as she accused him of only caring about Dale Jr. and not her.

But despite that, she made a pretty brutal comment.

"If Dale Jr. doesn't wanna stick around here, we'll make another Dale Jr.," Norris recalled Teresa's comment.


While Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended up not sticking around at DEI as he left for Hendrick Motorsports at the end of the 2007 season, Teresa Earnhardt couldn't find another driver of his brand value or caliber.

Junior's career continued to ascend while Teresa's image in NASCAR circles worsened. But the one party that suffered the most was the organization, DEI, as they were forced to merge with Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009 and close shop.

But with all that said, DEI could have a ray of hope for a comeback after the recent reports of Dale Jr. registering for its trademarks.

It may not turn out to be a big step or a move, but what it could be is a step in potentially bringing his father's organization back to the center stage of NASCAR.

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