There will be an Earnhardt in a car at the Daytona 500 for the 40th consecutive year after Jeffrey Earnhardt landed a ride with StarCom Racing on Tuesday.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, 28, is the grandson of Dale Earnhardt Sr., who first raced in the Daytona 500 in 1979. After Dale Sr. died in the 2001 race, Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove in each Daytona 500 through last season before retiring. Jeffrey is the nephew of Dale Jr.
"I am so appreciative of everyone at StarCom Racing ... for having confidence in me and making this a reality," Earnhardt said in a press 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."
StarCom recently leased a charter from Richard Childress Racing, which granted an automatic driver entry into all 36 NASCAR point races. So only an injury or other unexpected development would prevent Earnhardt from being part of the field.
Earnhardt will drive the No. 00 Chevrolet Camaro in the Feb. 18 race. He has driven in 58 Cup races over the past three seasons without a top-10 finish.