It’s a family affair for JR Motorsports at Richmond International Raceway this weekend. Jeffrey Earnhardt, the 23-year old son of Kerry Earnhardt, and Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s nephew, will be driving the No. 5 CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet. It will be his first time behind the wheel of this car.
In a press release on JRMracing.com, the young Earnhardt expressed his gratitude towards his uncle. “This whole experience has been awesome for me. I can’t thank Kelley and Dale Jr. enough for this chance,” he said. “Hopefully I can go and represent them well and give the fans a good show. My goal this year is to get as much seat time as I can to learn and become a better driver.”
He had no idea his uncle was even considering him as potential driver for the No. 5 car.
“I was really surprised when Dale Jr. called me about this. I’ve never really gone and asked for a ride. I want to make sure I earn what I get,” he said.
Richmond has a rich Earnhardt history dating back to Ralph Earnhardt’s first start at the facility in 1957. Since then, there has been five generation of Earnhardt’s that has taken to the Virginian track. Together, they have 12 wins; six from Dale Sr. and six from Dale Jr, and Jeffrey Earnhardt could possibly make it 13.
Earnhardt has competed in multiple NASCAR sanctioned events including the NASCAR East Series.
“Doing it the hard way makes me appreciate this opportunity even more. The past couple years have been tough,” he said. “All the hard work and the struggles have helped me mature as a driver and a person. We’re going to go out there, have fun and maybe open some more doors in the process.”
Also a MMA competitor, Earnhardt knows how to work hard to get what he wants and driving his uncle’s car at Richmond is no different. He has already made 15 starts in the Nationwide Series over the last few years including 5 already this season, but this will be the first with JR Motorsports. With a big fan base and great talent, this 23 year old is destined to do great things.