Jeffrey Earnhard, 26, will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut competing against his uncle Dale in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 12. The race will also be the first time 2 Earnhardts have been on the track at the same time since 2005, when Dale Jr. competed against his half-brother Kerry (father of Jeffrey) at Talladega. In addition the Federated Auto Parts 400 will mark the 4th generation Earnhardt’s return to Go Green Racing after a 2-year hiatus. Although Jeffrey only made one start for owner Archie St. Hilaire in the XFINITY Series in 2012, he had 16 starts in 2013, and a career total of 49 starts to date..
“Jeffrey drove for us in the XFINITY series a few years back and worked really well with our crew chief, Clinton Cram,” Hilaire told Fox News.. “I think their relationship will help make Jeffrey’s move up into the Cup series a smooth transition, and hopefully be the start of something great for the future.”
CorvetteParts.Net, owned by TJ Keen, will be Jeffrey Earnhardt’s primary sponsor at Richmond. They also sponsored him in 3 of his previous races.
“I’m really excited to get this opportunity and thrilled that CorvetteParts.Net is sponsoring my debut in Sprint Cup,” Jeffrey exclaimed, adding that the Keens have always been supportive of him, including sponsoring him 3-times before as well.
Earnhardt, grandson of Dale Earnhardt and the great-grandson of Ralph Earnhardt began his own racing career in the Hornet Division at Wythe Raceway in Rural Retreat, VA, where he won 3 feature events and finished in the top 5 in division points, to become Rookie of the Year. The following year he moved up to the Sportsman division at the Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Virginia, finishing the season in the top 10 of the division standings. He competed in the late model season finale at the track as a teammate to RCR developmental driver Allison Duncan. In 2007, he drove a #1 Chevrolet for Andy Santerre Motorsports in the NASCAR Busch East Series, finishing 5th in the Busch East point standings and was named the “Most Popular Driver” at the end of the 2007 season.
In 2008, Earnhardt returned to what is now known as the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East for another full season, along with selected Nationwide Series races. Earnhardt was unexpectedly replaced in the car at Dover in September 2008 with Aric Almirola who won the race. When DEI subsequently merged with Chip Ganassi Racing, their driver development program went into limbo, and Jeffrey was released.
Earnhardt drove several races with Rick Ware Racing in 2010, which qualified him to drive on all NASCAR tracks in the 2011 season. He signed with RWR to drive a full season in 2011 and make his run for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. He later switched to the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in 2012, where he raced in the GT class for RWR. However, in November he announced he would be competing for Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2013, driving the No. 79 for Go Green Racing.