Dale Earnhardt Jr. extension in final stages

June, 26, 2011

SONOMA, Calif. -- The latest NASCAR silly season updates from the Sprint Cup garage at Infineon Raceway:

• Rick Hendrick said he's down to the final paperwork on signing Dale Earnhardt Jr. to an extension of three to five years. The owner of Hendrick Motorsports isn't sure when the announcement will be made, but he said Earnhardt wants to keep it low-key.

Earnhardt, who has one more year left on his deal with HMS, is more interested in putting the past two weeks behind him after being wrecked at Michigan and Infineon. But he's not necessarily looking forward to Saturday's race at Daytona International Speedway.

"I'm not looking forward to going to Daytona the way the drafting is," Earnhardt said.

• Richard Childress said he expects Clint Bowyer to be re-signed within a couple of weeks. The owner of RCR said finalizing sponsorship for the entire 36-race season is all that remains, but he said Cheerios is expected to be back on the 33 car.

As for rumors that Bowyer was close to a deal with Red Bull Racing before the energy drink company announced it was not returning in 2012, Childress said, "He had told me he hadn't talked to them right before all that came out. I'm sure they would have had a lot of interest in doing a deal with him."

• Jack Roush said "we're moving along, negotiating" with points leader Carl Edwards. Although Edwards also has met with officials at Joe Gibbs Racing, Roush seems confident his No. 1 driver will return to Roush Fenway Racing.

"Everything is where it needs to be," Roush said.

As for a timetable, Roush would prefer to have negotiations settled before the Chase.

"It would be tough to have it go past the middle of the year," he said.

David Newton | email

ESPN Staff Writer


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