Lines drawn in Earnhardt family feud

ajc.com

The Earnhardt family feud may have not escalated, but sides have been clearly established.

"Obviously, I'm in support of my brother," Dale Earnhardt Jr. told the Charlotte Observer recently.

The support is predictable, and the right thing to do. Dale Junior and his sister Kelley Earnhardt both have voiced strong opinions over the legal turf war involving step-mother Teresa Earnhardt, who is suing Kerry Earnhardt, Dale's older son, for using the Earnhardt name in a business venture. Kerry, who once gave it a go at racing as well, wants to market and promote a line of homes and furniture called the "Earnhardt Collection."

Teresa _ Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s widow _ has filed an appeal in federal court after she was shot down by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Since Dale's death in 2001 after a crash in the Daytona 500, Teresa has owned the rights to Dale Earnhardt Inc., a business entity that used to include a racing team that eventually disbanded in another Teresa-centric skirmish involving the departure of Junior.

"This is a business venture that he's put a lot of effort and heart and soul in that I think he deserves," Dale Jr. said. "So in this particular case, I side with my brother and his belief to be able to use the name as is _ without any alterations or changes."

Onward and onward this goes. It's unfortunate that Teresa doesn't have a common-sense filter to see that this is a losing battle on so many fronts.

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Race fizzles

Forget all that giddiness about the better brand of racing on NASCAR's 1.5-mile tracks. Martin Truex Jr.'s dominating run _ leading a record 392 of 400 laps _ has moved the needle in a different direction to try to spice up the competitive flavor.

"Certainly great for Martin Truex Jr. and the race team," NASCAR executive vice president Steve O'Donnell told SiriusXM NASCAR radio in his weekly appearance. "But also certainly a challenging race for us and things we've already learned and going to back to the drawing board, and one of our stated goals is passing up front. That was not what we saw [Sunday] night."

The aerodynamic package was different for the All-Star race the previous week. That was on purpose, O'Donnell said, to see if the changes would have a significant impact.

"That's one of the reasons we ran two different things to have some comparative data," O'Donnell said. "We saw some really good things with the skew we had for the All-Star Race. It's something we can immediately pull the lever on."

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Chocolate kisses

Carl Edwards and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch have settled their in-house spat over their converging in Richmond in April when Edwards nudged Busch out of the way during the final lap of the race.

What was the key? A box of chocolates.

"We pushed it right to the limit _ as hard as I could race a teammate _ and Mars does a really neat thing for the winners of a race," Edwards said. "If you win the race, Mars sends you a really neat box of chocolates. So at the shop the next week, Kyle and I got together, we had a meeting and it was kind of a tough meeting, but we left on decent enough terms and Randy [Fuller of JGR public relations] gave me this box of chocolates and it's 'Congratulations on the Toyota Owners 400 win from Mars.'

"I saw Kyle across the shop and I thought, 'Man, I have to ask him to sign it.' That's where that picture that we put up on Twitter and all that. I thought it was pretty cool. We somewhat made peace over chocolate, so that's pretty good."