Fourth generation driver Jeffrey Earnhardt is finally getting the break of his career by getting a start in a JR Motorsports Chevrolet at Richmond.
It seems odd that it’s taken this long for Earnhardt to get a ride from his Uncle Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s team, but it’s allowed to the younger Earnhardt to make a name for himself first.
The reaction from friends and fans has been overwhelming to Earnhardt.
“My phone has been blowing up. The response has been incredible. I received a lot of text messages and tweets from people in NASCAR, and the fans have been great. Between my grandfather, my dad, and Dale Jr., there is such a huge fan base that is very supportive of my family. I just appreciate the opportunity. I can’t wait. I wish the Richmond race weekend was tomorrow,” said Earnhardt.
Jeffrey’s Aunt, Kelley Earnhardt Miller, explained how it all came together.
“Richmond happens to be one of the few races that neither Kasey Kahne nor Brad Sweet are scheduled to drive the No. 5 car because it’s not a Great Clips-sponsored race. Dale and I were discussing our options for that weekend. It was his idea to put Jeffrey in the car and let him drive our equipment. I loved the idea, and everyone in the company – as soon as they heard it – did too. It’s only a one-race deal but something that could really help Jeffrey if he does well,” she said.
Jeffrey also talked about racing at the Richmond International Raceway.
“Obviously my grandfather and uncle have a lot of great history there. They’ve won a lot of races, and they’ve also been in races that didn’t go their way but were great finishes. I’ve never raced at Richmond, but it’s a short track, and I love short tracks. Short tracks sort of neutralize the field by putting more emphasis on driver ability. I have the ability, and I want to make the most of this opportunity. I’m sure in the coming weeks I’ll talk to a lot of drivers and people within the organization on how to race that track. And who better to get advice from than Dale Jr. He knows Richmond better than anybody,” he commented.
For Earnhardt, hopefully this can turn into more races with his uncle’s team and continue the Earnhardt legacy in NASCAR.