Jeffrey Earnhardt will return to the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for multiple races in 2024, the team announced Tuesday.
Earnhardt’s first race back with the organization is slated for Feb. 24 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The 34-year-old’s full schedule with the team will be announced at a later date, according to a press release. Earnhardt previously drove with Sam Hunt Racing part-time in 2022, earning a best finish of seventh at Nashville Superspeedway in the No. 26 Toyota.
“Jeffrey is a great guy that everyone enjoys being around and working with,” team owner Sam Hunt said in a press release. “We’ve had some great conversations over the past couple months and know he is committed to the program, as well as to the TRD family. His experience and full perspective view on the sport is always refreshing, and feel we had great speed together in 2022. I’m excited to build on that momentum and pick up where we left off and look forward to welcoming the ForeverLawn family back to the Sam Hunt Racing camp.”
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Earnhardt, the grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer and seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt, made 24 Xfinity starts in 2023 in a part-time schedule with Alpha Prime Racing, nabbing a season-best 11th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in August. In 168 Xfinity Series starts, Earnhardt has collected two top fives and five top 10s in addition to one pole award — earned while driving the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet at Talladega Superspeedway on his way to a career-best second-place finish.
His history with Toyota, however, dates back to 2018 in the NASCAR Cup Series with BK Racing and Gaunt Brothers Racing ahead of 2019 in the Xfinity Series with a part-time schedule at Joe Gibbs Racing.
“I’m really excited to be returning to Sam Hunt Racing and the TRD family,” Earnhardt said in a release. “We had strong races in 2022, and I feel like we have some unfinished business. Sam’s program continues to impress, and Toyota makes me feel so welcome. I know this is the right move and can’t wait to get back in the ForeverLawn GR Supra with Sam & team.”
ForeverLawn, a longtime sponsor of Earnhardt’s racing endeavors, will follow the fourth-generation racer back to Sam Hunt Racing, marking his fourth season with ForeverLawn while piloting the fan-favorite Black and Green Grass Machine, according to a press release.
“We are so excited to be back together with Sam Hunt and the whole SHR team,” Dale Karmie, co-founder of ForeverLawn, said in the release. “We have watched them develop over the past few years and believe they give Jeffrey a great shot at top-tier finishes. Additionally, we align with Sam very closely on our values. And Jeffrey? He is just a hardworking, dedicated young man who is earning his way up the ranks yet remains so focused on his fans. We love Jeffrey. God has blessed us with amazing relationships in our time in NASCAR, and we are excited to see what we can accomplish here.”