Earnhardt to make 100th Xfinity start at Texas

A significant milestone is in the making for Jeffrey Earnhardt, driver of the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. By taking the green flag in this weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt will achieve his 100th career start in the Xfinity Series.

A fourth-generation competitor from Mooresville, North Carolina, and grandson of the late NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt, Jeffrey made his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Watkins Glen International in August 2009. By then, he had competed in the NASCAR Busch East Series and what is now the ARCA Menards Series East for the last two seasons for Dale Earnhardt Inc. before being released. 

Driving the No. 40 Key Motorsports Chevrolet at Watkins Glen, Earnhardt started 36th and finished 24th in his series debut. He ended up competing in another Xfinity race in 2009 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, where he finished 31st. 


American Muscle

After competing in select NASCAR Truck Series races for Rick Ware Racing in 2010, Earnhardt was set to compete in the series on a full-time basis with RWR as a rookie contender. Following the first four races of the season, however, Earnhardt’s full-time ride was cut and he ended up competing in one additional Truck race and two Xfinity races for the remainder of the season. In the Xfinity Series, he drove for RWR in two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and at Daytona International Speedway in July, where he notched a 19th-place result.

In 2012, Earnhardt competed on a full-time basis in the Grand Am Series in the Rolex GT Class for Rick Ware Racing. He also competed in a total of six Xfinity races, four with RWR while making one with Go Green Racing and one with Randy Hill Racing. His best result during his six-race slate in 2012 was 21st at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in July.

Earnhardt’s racing schedule in 2013 expanded as he made 17 starts throughout the 33-race Xfinity Series schedule. During the season, all but one of his 17-race Xfinity schedule occurred with Go Green Racing, where he finished no higher than 16th place. His lone start outside of Go Green Racing was with JR Motorsports and for his nephew, Dale Earnhardt Jr., at Richmond Raceway in April. Driving the No. 5 Keen Parts/CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet Camaro for JRM, Earnhardt started 22nd and finished 17th.

In 2014, Earnhardt competed on a full-time basis in the Xfinity Series with JD Motorsports and in the No. 4 Chevrolet Camaro. Throughout the season, his best result was 12th place at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. He was able to capture six top-20 results and an average result of 26.3 throughout the 33-race schedule before finishing in 18th place in the final standings.

Photo by Noel Lanier for SpeedwayMedia.com.

Throughout the 2015 season, Earnhardt made a total of six Xfinity starts in the No. 55 Chevrolet Camaro for Viva Motorsports. His best on-track results were 15th at Bristol in April and 12th at Talladega in May.

From 2016 to 2018, Earnhardt competed in a total of 73 races in the NASCAR Cup Series as he drove for teams that included Go Fas Racing, BK Racing, Circle Sport-The Motorsports Group, StarCom Racing, Premium Motorsports and Gaunt Brothers Racing. His best result in NASCAR’s premier series during the three-year span was 11th place at Daytona in July 2018.

A week before the 2018 season concluded, it was announced that Earnhardt will be returning to the Xfinity Series and join Joe Gibbs Racing to drive the No. 18 Toyota Supra sponsored by Xtreme Concepts/iK9 for nine races in 2019. A few days before the 2019 Xfinity Series commenced, Earnhardt’s part-time 2019 schedule expanded when Xtreme Concepts Inc. formed Xtreme Concepts Racing (XCI Racing) with intentions of competing in five Xfinity races and two Cup races with Earnhardt driving throughout the season. 

Earnhardt made his first start with JGR in the 2019 season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. During the event, Earnhardt finished in the top five in both stages and led 29 laps before being shuffled back to a 15th-place result. The following race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Earnhardt restarted on the front row alongside teammate Christopher Bell on a three-lap shootout and was in position to win his first NASCAR career race. His chances of winning, however, evaporated when he struggled to pick up speed on the outside lane and was shuffled back. Nonetheless, he was able to finish in sixth place and achieve his career-best result within NASCAR’s top three major division series. 

Photo by Bruce Nuttleman for SpeedwayMedia.com.

Four races later, Earnhardt made his first start with XCI Racing at Texas Motor Speedway, where he finished in eighth place. Another five races later, Earnhardt rallied from a spin with 58 laps remaining to make a late charge and notch a career-best third-place result at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The result marked Earnhardt’s first top-five career result across NASCAR’s top three major division series and it was also meaningful for Earnhardt, who sported a special patriotic scheme to his No. 18 Toyota during the Charlotte race while paying tribute to Mooresville, North Carolina, Officer Jordan Sheldon, who died in the line of duty during a traffic stop earlier in May. 

In August, Earnhardt announced that he and XCI have parted ways, which ended Earnhardt’s 2019 season early and the end of his partnership with XCI and Joe Gibbs Racing. By then, he had made five Xfinity starts with JGR, two Xfinity starts with XCI Racing and one Cup start with XCI, which occurred at Talladega Superspeedway in April.

In February 2020, Earnhardt rejoined JD Motorsports with Gary Keller and started the season with plans on competing in 12 Xfinity Series races. He made his first start of the season at Darlington Raceway in May, where he finished 23rd. He went on to finish 25th the following week at Charlotte before he notched a 15th-place result the next week at Bristol.

Since Darlington in May, Earnhardt ended up competing on a full-time basis with JDM and he has driven the No. 0 Chevrolet Camaro in all but two races, where he drove the No. 15 Chevrolet for JDM. Through last weekend’s event at Kansas Speedway, Earnhardt has achieved 13 top-20 results, a best result of 11th place at Charlotte in October and an average result of 22.3.

Catch Earnhardt’s milestone start at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 24, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.


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