Earnhardt, the 31-year-old grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, will return to JD Motorsports next season and compete fulltime in the Xfinity Series, driving the team’s No. 0 Chevrolet.
Earnhardt ran 29 races with the team in 2020, with a best finish of 11th at the Charlotte Roval. His season began with an agreement to run a handful of races but he eventually ran the vast majority of the season.
“We got a late start and the plan was to run six to 12 races but something good was happening and by Bristol you could sense the momentum we were having” Earnhardt said.
“We came home in 15th in our third race and that’s an accomplishment when just a few weeks earlier we had no plans to work together. We had great partners join us and the season had some real bright spots to build on.” Only once in his NASCAR career previously has Earnhardt been able to run a complete season, competing in every race in the 2014 Xfinity season and finished 18th in the series standings. He ran 34 of 36 Cup races during the 2017 season.
In 2019, Earnhardt had the opportunity to run seven Xfinity races with Joe Gibbs Racing before sponsorship issues forced an abrupt end to the program. While there, he did earn a career-best third-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and led 29 laps in the season-opener at Daytona.
Earnhardt said he knows the JDM program are “underdogs” but believes he can improve on their 2020 results.
“We’re prepared for the hard work it will take to make the playoffs and with additional sponsorship I think we’ll turn some heads,” he said. “I’m really excited to return to the No. 0 and look forward to working with Johnny to give the fans a ‘blue collar’ team to cheer for.”
The team said sponsorship announcements for the No. 0 team will be made at a later date as well as additional driver announcements to complete the JDM lineup.