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Driving with the enemy

As expected, Dale Earnhardt Jr. today announced that he was joining Hendrick Motorsports, where his garage mates will be Jimmie Johnson and none other than Jeff Gordon.

In conjunction with that news, the other anticipated shoe dropped -- Hendrick and driver Kyle Busch will be parting ways. Busch has been driving the No. 5 Chevy this year but hasn't lived up to the high expectations at Hendrick, where they measure success in championships.

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Earnhardt Jr., meanwhile, is waiting to see what the reaction of his fans will be. Gordon, Junior's new teammate, was Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s main rival in the 1990s before the elder Earnhardt was killed at Daytona in 2001. And Dale Jr.'s followers, many of whom the son inherited from his father, despise Gordon. And it also remains to be seen whether Earnhardt will hold onto his chief sponsor, Budweiser.

Dale Jr., announced earlier that he was leaving DEI, the racing team that bears his father's name and is run by his stepmother, Teresa, because he believed that he wasn't being given the resources there to win a Nextel Cup championship.

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Photo credit: Dave Martin/AP

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