In the two days since Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced his retirement from full-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition at the end of the 2017 season, speculation of who'll be the heir apparent to the vacated No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has run rampant. Some of the speculation -- by fans, not insiders, mind you -- has been somewhat off-the-wall. Heck, some fans, either jonesing for a Carl Edwards return, or continuing to conspiracy theorize that Edwards wasn't exactly honest in his departure speech and his departure is actually part of a grand scheme for him to return with a different team, and perhaps a different manufacturer, have Cousin Carl returning to drive the No. 88 next year. Umm, no, I definitely don't see that one happening.
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(photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)