Earnhardt Pocono Preview

Jeffrey Earnhardt: Driver, No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra
NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview

Event:  Pocono Green 250 (Round 12 of 33)

Date:  June 1, 2019

Location:  Pocono (Pa.) Raceway

Layout:  2.5-mile triangle

Jeffrey Earnhardt Notes of Interest
●  The Pocono Green 250 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway is the 12th event of the 33-race NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule and the sixth race of the season for Jeffrey Earnhardt.

●  Earnhardt returns to the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) after a career-best third-place finish last weekend in the Alsco 300 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.

●  Saturday’s event will mark Earnhardt’s first Xfinity Series start at Pocono. He has three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Starts at the 2.5-mile triangle with a best finish of 29th in last year’s Gander Outdoors 400.

●  In five Xfinity Series starts this season, Earnhardt has earned one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He has an average starting position of 8.0 and an average finish of 11.6.

●  Earnhardt’s third-place finish in the Alsco 300 at Charlotte was a career-best finish across 157 combined starts in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. His previous best finish was sixth on Feb. 23, 2019 in the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

●  Earnhardt’s top-three finish at Charlotte was the newest edition to his list of career-firsts in his first season with Xtreme Concepts Racing and JGR. In the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Earnhardt led 29 laps, making him the first driver to put the new Toyota Supra into the lead of an Xfinity Series race. And Earnhardt’s second-place qualifying effort earned him his best starting spot in 152 career starts across the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. His 29 laps led were more than he had led in 15 previous races at Daytona in the NASCAR Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. He followed up his performance at Daytona with a sixth-place finish at Atlanta and an eighth-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.


Jeffrey Earnhardt, Driver of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra

Following your performance at Charlotte, you described the results and your opportunity with Xtreme Concepts and Joe Gibbs Racing as a “dream come true.” Have you had a chance to reflect back on the day and enjoy the moment?

“There have been a lot of calls and texts about our performance in Charlotte. It certainly makes me feel good that other people are taking notice, but I’m not the type of person to sit back and soak it all in. I’ve said since the beginning of the year that we are here to finish well and win races, and show people that we’re capable of good results in good equipment. We’re making it happen and I’m more focused on keeping that momentum going. I appreciate everything Joe Gibbs and the team at Xtreme Concepts have done to give me this opportunity and I’m going to continue to make the best of it.”

This will be your first Xfinity Series start at Pocono. What have you been doing to prepare?

“I’ve got a good group of teammates that have experience at Pocono and we’ve been working in the simulator to prepare. I did race there last year in Cup and we didn’t have a horrible day, but I know it will be different so I’ll listen to the information that Ben (Beshore, crew chief) and teammates Christopher (Bell) and Brandon (Jones) have and see what we can do. I feel good about it. Pocono is a tough track. You’ve really got to pay attention to what you’re doing in each corner, but if we stay focused on doing our job, we’ll be okay. We’ve got a good iK9 team behind us and the positive performance from Charlotte is definitely a boost of confidence.”

Ben Beshore, Crew Chief of the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Team

You had a great race in Charlotte. Can we expect the same type of fight from the iK9 team this weekend in Pocono?

“I think so. Jeffrey did a great job keeping it together after a few mishaps. You could tell he gave it all he had just like he does every race, and if it hadn’t been for the tire going down or the early pit road penalty, he probably would’ve had a shot at the win. Overcoming those obstacles is hard – it isn’t something everyone can come back from – but he did and had an impressive run at the end. He’s done a great job of working with everyone here at JGR to prepare for these races. A top-five finish does a lot when it comes to confidence, and I think we’ll be seeing more of that over the next few races.”

Jeffrey Earnhardt Pocono Series Performance Profile

No. 18 iK9 Team Roster
Primary Team Members:

Driver: Jeffrey Earnhardt

Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina

Crew Chief: Ben Beshore

Hometown: York, Pennsylvania

Car Chief: Chris Meyers

Hometown: Olney, Maryland

Race Engineer: Dustin Zacharyasz

Hometown: Berea, Ohio

Engine Tuner: Jesse Warren

Hometown: Mentor, Ohio

Spotter: Rick Carelli

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Over-The-Wall Crew:

Front Tire Changer: Houston Stamper

Hometown: Mt. Pleasant, North Carolina

Rear Tire Changer: Steven Tautages

Hometown: Abbotsford, Wisconsin

Tire Carrier: Brad Donaghy

Hometown: Orange, Virginia

Gas Man: Kenneth Purcell

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

Jackman: Kellen Mills

Hometown: Mesa, Arizona

Road Crew Members:

Truck Driver: Brian Finney

Hometown: Mount Ulla, North Carolina

Mechanic: Kevin Gladman

Hometown: Cadiz, Ohio

Mechanic: John Egbert

Hometown: Akron, Ohio

Tire Specialist: John Lanham

Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana


●  iK9 is a global leader in canine security services and training. The company offers comprehensive canine solutions with professional handler education for celebrities, veterans, government agencies and military. iK9’s primary focus is furnishing dogs to special operations units and providing top-tier training, but iK9-trained dogs are most often seen with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and police departments collectively making the country safe and secure. Guided by a commitment to deliver highly disciplined and well-bred dogs to customers around the world, iK9 employs industry-intelligent expertise utilizing the latest in canine science and technology. With an expansive network of canine professionals and enthusiasts, iK9 clients are empowered with the skills and support necessary to utilize their highly-specialized working dogs with the utmost confidence.

●  Xtreme Concepts Inc., is a worldwide leader in providing turnkey security solutions, training and technology integration to U.S. government, military and commercial clients on a global scale. Xtreme Concepts’ mission is to provide elite military units with a hyper-realistic environment, allowing them to train to their full mission profile with a facility that is able to replicate an unmatched variety of real-world scenarios. This Alabama-based facility is a world-class training site spanning more than 1,500 acres with 3 million square-feet of indoor training space, 31 buildings, 3.5 miles of internal roadways, and more areas equipped for training. Experience is the hallmark and strength of Xtreme Concepts, best exemplified by its motto: “Who we are, Where we’ve been and What we’ve done.” With access to the National Mission Force (NMF) and the Special Missions Units (SMU) of the U.S. military, Xtreme Concepts is the benchmark in the multi-faceted security arena. Xtreme Concepts’ stable of experts has served honorably with these elite units for more than a decade, and because its staff maintains deep ties to the NMF and SMU, clients benefit from immediate access to Xtreme Concepts’ collective experience.