As far as I know, he will be driving the no. 5 car next year. This is because Kyle Busch may be going to Gibbs next year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. will start completely anew in 2008 -- new team, new sponsors and now, new car number.
Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports officials confirmed Wednesday in separate e-mail statements to ESPN.com that they were unable to reach an agreement with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to bring the No. 8 to HMS with Earnhardt.
DEI officials were not immediately available for comment.
Elledge said there is no specific timetable on announcing Earnhardt's new number. What number his car will carry has not yet been determined, but Earnhardt has told ESPN on multiple occasions his preference is 81. He has run 81 at times in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Earnhardt has driven the No. 8 his entire Nextel Cup career.
Updated: August 28, 2007, 10:36 AM ET
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 38?
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com on Monday that Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing and Hendrick Motorsports are discussing a transfer of that number for 2008. The No. 38 currently is being used by David Gilliland.