By Josh Farmer, IndyCar Reporter & NASCAR Contributor
Jeffrey Earnhardt, the youngest Earnhardt currently competing in NASCAR, hopes to carry on the legendary family legacy that dates back to the 1950’s.
Earnhardt,26, is one of five drivers racing for the Rookie of the Year award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series after spending six seasons racing sporadically in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Richmond International Raceway last season. Other than Dale Earnhardt Jr. he is the only other member of the Earnhardt family that is actively racing in any of NASCAR’s top three series.
When you are the grandson of one of NASCAR’s all time greatest drivers and nephew of one of NASCAR’s biggest stars, that might seem intimidating, but Earnhardt has taken it all in stride and is very humble given his lineage.
“I’m just doing the best I can to keep them fans proud and excited to be an Earnhardt fan,” Jeffrey Earnhardt told Tribute Racing. “It sucks when you don’t get to finish because that’s what they want, they want an Earnhardt that’s going to go and kick ass and do everything my grandfather did.”
Dale Earnhardt Sr. won seven Sprint Cup Series championships, 76 series wins, including the 1998 Daytona 500. Kerry Earnhardt, Jeffery’s father, raced in the Xfinity Series full time in 2002-03,made seven starts in the Sprint Cup Series, and had a solid stint in ARCA, winning four times in 11 starts. Earnhardt Jr. has two Daytona 500 wins to his credit, and although he has yet to secure his first ever Sprint Cup Series title, the 41-year-old has become a regular contender for the championship.
“I’ll never be able to fill those shoes, I don’t think anyone in this world will be able to fill those shoes,” the younger Earnhardt added. “You just want to keep the Earnhardt fans and supports proud and excited to be an Earnhardt fan.”
Heading into this weekend’s Duck Commander 500, Earnhardt is looking for a good race to turn around a lackluster start to the season. In his first three starts of the season, he has finished 38th at Atlanta, 33rd at Las Vegas and 34th at Fontana.