NASCAR Xfinity Series Overview
Event: Rinnai 250 (Round 2 of 33)
Date: Feb. 23, 2019
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway
Layout: 1.54-mile oval
Jeffrey Earnhardt Notes of Interest
- The Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is the second of nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races scheduled for Jeffrey Earnhardt in the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR).
- In his first race last Saturday in the season-opening Xfinity Series race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, Earnhardt qualified second and led the first 29 laps. Earnhardt’s second-place qualifying effort earned him his best starting spot in 152 career starts across the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoors Truck Series. And Earnhardt’s 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.
- In addition to leading 29 laps last Saturday at Daytona, Earnhardt also earned stage points for the first time in his career. He finished fourth in the first stage and fifth in the second stage to collect a total of 13 bonus points.
- Trivia Question: Who was the first driver to put the new Toyota Supra into the lead of an Xfinity Series race? Answer: Jeffrey Earnhardt at Daytona on Feb. 16, 2019.
- Earnhardt has two Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta with a best finish of 25thin 2014. He also has three Cup Series starts at Atlanta with a best result of 33rdin 2017.
Jeffrey Earnhardt, Driver Q&A
What can we expect from the iK9 team this weekend at Atlanta after a positive debut last Saturday at Daytona?
“Going into Atlanta, I feel like we’re going to be even better than we were last weekend. The Gibbs cars ran well in Atlanta last year, but it’s a track where the quality of your equipment really shows and it’s more about the driver than compared to Daytona, which can be a wildcard. When we started to prepare for this season, we didn’t really focus on Daytona, and then we went down there and ran well. We’ve been putting all of our focus into Atlanta from the very start of this and we all feel really good about what we’ve got planned for the iK9 Toyota Supra this weekend.”
You put on a great show in the first race of the year at Daytona and it was also your first race with a new team. How does it feel to know you are doing exactly what you set out to do?
“There were a lot of highs for us in Daytona. We went out and did what I knew we would be able to do, and that was lead laps and run up front. It was a great way to kick off the season and Daytona is a special place for me personally, so that makes it just a little sweeter. From qualifying on the front row to earning those extra points in the first two stages, I really feel this is just the beginning of what will turn out to be the best season I’ve had in a long time. As I said, we’ve been working on our Atlanta preparation for a few months now, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone when we go out and do the same this weekend. I’m looking forward to adding a few more things to the list of career firsts and career highs by the time we leave Georgia.”
Ben Beshore, Crew Chief Q&A
Daytona and Atlanta are very different, not only in track size but in the way you race at each. What will be the biggest difference for you and Jeffrey heading into the second race of the season?
“Daytona overall was a positive for us, but Atlanta will be quite a difference as far as communication during practice and the race. There’s a lot more going on. You’re not wide open all the way around and you’re not at the mercy of who is pushing you or who is in front of you. Atlanta is a lot more handling focused and Jeffrey is going to be out there by himself to where he controls his own destiny with the feedback he gives to us. We’ve done a lot of work on that communication ahead of time so that when we arrive there is already a comfortability level and we’re able to give him the adjustments he needs to keep the iK9 Toyota Supra up front.”
Jeffrey Earnhardt Atlanta Performance Profile
|2018||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (MENCS)||33||34||Running, 305/325||0|
|2017||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (MENCS)||35||33||Running, 317/325||0|
|2016||Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 (MENCS)||38||38||Running, 313/330||0|
|2015||Hisense 250 (NXS)||34||32||Running, 144/163||0|
|2014||Great Clips 300 to benefit Feed the Children (NXS)||28||25||Running, 188/195||0|
No. 18 iK9 Team Roster
Primary Team Members Over-The-Wall Crew Road Crew Members
Driver: Jeffrey Earnhardt Front Tire Changer: Dustin Necaise Truck Driver: Brian Finney
Hometown: Mooresville, North Carolina Hometown: Gulfport, Mississippi Hometown: Mount Ulla, North Carolina
Crew Chief: Ben Beshore Rear Tire Changer: Mike Hicks Mechanic: Kevin Gladman
Hometown: York, Pennsylvania Hometown: Providence, Rhode Island Hometown: Cadiz, Ohio
Car Chief: Chris Meyers Tire Carrier: Kevin Harris Mechanic: John Egbert
Hometown: Olney, Maryland Hometown: Winter Springs, Colorado Hometown: Akron, Ohio
Race Engineer: Dustin Zacharyasz Gas Man: Kenneth Purcell Tire Specialist: John Lanham
Hometown: Berea, Ohio Hometown: Savannah, Georgia Hometown: Indianapolis, Indiana
Engine Tuner: Jesse Warren Jackman: Ernie Pierce
Hometown: Mentor, Ohio Hometown: San Diego, California
Spotter: Rick Carelli
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
- Jeffrey Earnhardtis the grandson of seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Dale Earnhardt and nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Despite the last name, the fourth-generation Earnhardt began his career humbly, racing a four-cylinder Yugo on the dirt tracks of rural Virginia. Jeffrey proved the apple didn’t fall far from the tree, as he won rookie-of-the-year honors at Wythe Raceway. Dirt-track success paved his way to NASCAR, where on the asphalt tracks of the K&N Pro Series, Xfinity Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Jeffrey has displayed a tenacity long emulated by his family. His unrelenting grit and determination, augmented by his strong support of veterans, first responders and those who serve and protect, resonates strongly with Xtreme Concepts. The company paired him with Joe Gibbs Racing, the powerhouse NASCAR team with more than 150 Xfinity Series victories. Now in equipment befitting his talent, Jeffrey’s aim is to put the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra in victory lane.
- iK9is 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.
Contact Heather Griffin with True Speed Communication
(704) 875-3388, ext. 804or Heather.Griffin@TrueSpeedCommunication.com