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NASCAR Cup: Jeffrey Earnhardt keeps family Daytona 500 streak alive

Jeffrey Earnhardt (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeffrey Earnhardt (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

After retiring from full-time competition in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at the end of the 2017 season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won’t be in the race field for the Daytona 500 official 2018 Cup Series season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 18, but there still will be an Earnhardt on the starting grid for the 40th-straight Daytona 500. Jeffrey Earnhardt is slated to drive the No. 00 StarCom Racing Chevrolet, according to an announcement from the race team on Tuesday.

“We are happy to announce that @JEarnhardt1 will be the driver of the StarCom Racing’s 00 Camaro, keeping the Earnhardt name in the Daytona 500 for the 40th straight year!” the race team (@StarcomRacing) tweeted.

Earnhardt has signed on to drive the No. 00 full-time this season. He raced the No. 33 Chevrolet for Circle Sport-TMG last season, but when Circle Sport and TMG (The Motorsports Group) split at the end of the 2017 season, Earnhardt lost that ride. The 2017 Daytona 500 was Earnhardt’s first start in NASCAR’s most prestigious race. He finished 26th after starting 32nd. He has 58-career Cup Series starts, dating back to 2015.

Earnhardt will be guaranteed a starting spots for all races throughout the 2018 season, as StarCom Racing has leased a charter from Richard Childress Racing for 2018. RCR had an available charter as a result of shuttering operations of its No. 27 team and scaling back from three full-time Cup Series teams to two. Derrike Cope, who drove for StarCom in two races late in 2017, remains with the team as manager.

“It was imperative for our young team to have a sponsored driver for our start-up year, and we did have several options,” Cope said. “We felt that Jeffrey was the best fit for our team and VRX (Simulators, sponsor) 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.”

The 2018 season will be the first full season for StarCom Racing.

“I am so appreciative of everyone at StarCom Racing and VRX for having confidence in me and making this a reality,” Earnhardt said. “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.”

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Posted by on January 30, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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