Richard Childress Racing’s first NASCAR race with Jeffrey Earnhardt gets off to a solid start.
During the last round of Xfinity Series testing at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Friday, Earnhardt, the grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Sr. and nephew of fellow Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr., set the quickest average track pace (182.560 mph).
Earnhardt, 32, who was third quickest from the first round, won his first professional pole by edging his RCR teammate Austin Hill (182.351 mph).
RCR recently confirmed that Earnhardt would ride in the legendary No. 3 Chevrolet for the first time in Saturday’s race.
“I tell you, this is unbelievable, man,” Earnhardt said. “This has been a dream of mine for years to get this opportunity and everything has fallen in place. The good Lord has taken care of us.
“All the guys at RCR – it’s more them than it is me. They’ve proven time and time again they bring fast cars to superspeedways. Not a bad starting spot – we’re going to try to keep her there all race.
“Hopefully, we can put this thing in Victory Lane.”
After completing the quickest lap in the first round, Ty Gibbs, who had earned three straight poles, finished third in the last round. Daniel Hemric finished fifth, and Sheldon Creed was fourth.
Landon Cassill, Ryan Vargas, Kaz Grala, Drew Dollar, and Ryan Sieg round out the top ten.
Jeffrey has raced in all three NASCAR national series – Cup, Xfinity, and Trucks – and is now competing in Xfinity with Sam Hunt Racing on a part-time basis. His best result so far this year has been 13th at Atlanta in March.
Earnhardt has raced in the Cup Series 76 times, the Truck Series 10 times, and the Xfinity Series 135 times. In 2019, he had his finest year with Joe Gibbs Racing, winning 5 races and finishing third at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first time in his career.
“I have to thank Richard (Childress, team owner) for giving me the opportunity to drive the No. 3,” Earnhardt said. “It’s something we’ve been trying to put together for years.”
RCR was the home of Earnhardt Sr., who won six of his seven NASCAR Cup Series championships. In his RCR career, Earnhardt Jr. won three Xfinity races, including the summer Daytona race in 2010.
Larry McReynolds, who was Earnhardt Srcrew .’s chief when he earned his only Daytona 500 in 1998, is working as Jeffrey Earnhardt’s crew chief this weekend. McReynolds now works for Fox Sports as a television analyst.
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Jeffrey Earnhardt, Grand Prix, IndyCar, Joe Gibbs Racing, Nascar, NASCAR Cup Series, XFinity