As the crowd rises and the green flag drops in Daytona for the first event of the 2011 season, Jeffrey Earnhardt will start a 25 race campaign to becoming Rookie of the Year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, driving the Fuel Doctor #1 Chevy for Rick Ware Racing.
“There’s no doubt the kid has talent, and there’s also no doubt he will have to earn Rookie-of-the-Year. There’s six to eight drivers vying for the same spot, and they are all bringing a ton of talent. I’m proud to have Fuel Doctor on board. Their support gives Jeffrey a fighting chance,” owner Rick Ware explained.
While the other rookie candidates certainly bring talent, none of them come with the name recognition of Earnhardt, for better or worse.
“The name Earnhardt is a double edged sword. It’s a blessing from a marketing standpoint, but without a doubt, the NASCAR fan base has higher expectations for Jeffrey than any other rookie. We certainly can’t shield him from this pressure, but we are taking measures to focus his mind on the important tasks at hand,” Ware said.
One thing is for sure, Earnhardt shouldn’t have any rust buildup from an off-season of inactivity. After participating in three separate tests throughout the months of December and January, Earnhardt competed in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in a Fuel Doctor Porsche GT with Rick Ware Racing.
Earnhardt and his crew finished 11th in the GT Class and 25th overall in their first attempt at the famed Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.
Earnhardt took the wheel for several stints including a grueling double at night in the thick fog as well as the final leg of the event.
“The 24 Hours race was an excellent stepping stone for Jeffrey. He gained a huge amount of road coarse experience, something valuable at this stage in his career, and he had hours-upon-hours of wheel time that has kept him sharp. Jeffrey’s bringing talent, and he’s well prepared to fight for the Rookie of the Year title,” Ware stated.
The first race of the NACAR Camping World Truck season, the NextEra Energy Resources 250, can be seen live on Speed from the Daytona International Speedway in Florida on Friday, February, 18 at 8:00 p.m. EST.