Jefferey Earnhardt finally has his ride, putting an end to a saga that threatened to end an impressive streak. According to a press release, Starcom Racing has signed Earnhardt to drive the 00 car for the Daytona 500 and the rest of the year. VRX Simulators will sponsor the team.
As expected, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was happy.
If Earnhardt didn’t get a ride in a Cup Series race this year, it would have been the first time since 1975 that a member of the Earnhardt family wouldn’t appear in a Cup Series race. It would also have been the first time since 1979 that an Earnhardt hasn’t been a full-time driver in the series.
“I am so appreciative of everyone at StarCom Racing and VRX for having confidence in me and making this a reality,” said Earnhardt in the release. “There’s been an Earnhardt driving in the 500 for 39 years so to be able to keep that streak going for a 40th year means a lot to me and I’m sure a lot of Earnhardt fans are going to be happy to hear this news.”
Earnhardt is also happy with the leadership of the team that he will be a part of, saying: “I knew (Team manager, Derrike Cope) casually before, but I didn’t realize how much he knows about race cars. He’s got a tremendous amount of technical expertise and speaking with him gave me confidence that StarCom has big plans and I want to be part of that progression,” said Earnhardt.
Cope is also a former Daytona 500 winner, and knows what it takes to be successful at the highest level of NASCAR.
“It was imperative for our young team to have a sponsored driver for our start-up year, and we did have several options. We felt that Jeffrey was the best fit for our team and VRX has already shown the type of enthusiasm and commitment that SCR has both for Jeffrey and for the sport. It will be a very exciting year for us,” he said.
StarCom leased a charter last week, so Earnhardt will have a guaranteed spot in any race he enters.