Jeffrey Earnhardt will attempt to make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut September 12 at Richmond International Raceway in the Federated Auto Parts 400 in a Ford for Go Green Racing. Earnhardt is the son of Kerry Earnhardt and grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. He is the nephew of NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. The 26-year old revealed his plans on the NBC Sports Network program NASCAR America Thursday night.
“I’ve spent the past few years around the Xfinity (Series) really learning all that I can and getting all the seat time I can,” Earnhardt said. “The biggest goals for me is to go out, be competitive, of course, that’s the only reason we do it, but also to learn as much as I can and finish all the laps that I can.”
Earnhardt has made 76 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series. Combined he has one top 10 finish, that being a seventh place in the 2011 Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. His last race in one of the top tier NASCAR touring series came at the June 13 Xfinity race at Michigan International Speedway. After that race, the team he was competing for, Viva Motorsports ceased operations. The team earned three top-20 finishes this season with Earnhardt’s 12th place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway proving the team’s best effort of the year. Earnhardt tested a Sprint Cup car at Charlotte Motor Speedway during a sanctioned test for Go Green Racing in 2013. The last time two Earnhardt family members, Kerry and Dale Earnhardt Jr., competed in a Sprint Cup race was in the fall Talladega race in 2005. The brothers were involved in separate crashes with Kerry finishing 39th, Dale Jr. 40th.
Earnhardt raced for his famous uncle in Richmond in 2013. He raced for Dale Jr. owned JR Motorsports in the spring Xfinity race. Earnhardt started 22nd and finished 17th. He hopes to draw on experience and that of his uncle next month.
“He was a really big help when I got to participate in an Xfinity race in a JR Motorsports car two years ago,” Earnhardt said. “He helped me actually learn how to get around Richmond.”
Away from the racetrack Earnhardt has competed in several Mixed Martial Arts events. He won his first bout as an amateur in May of 2012 by unanimous decision. According to official MMA records, Earnhardt has not fought since then. The Go Green Racing team is currently 41st in owner points and has made 24 attempts making 21 races and missing three. Whether Earnhardt will get a guaranteed starting spot will depend on the number of entries for the Richmond race.