Another ringer has entered his name for 15 August’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the Daytona International Speedway infield road course. On Friday, Richard Childress Racing announced sports car driver Earl Bamber will make his NASCAR début in the #21 Chevrolet Camaro in the event.
“I’ve dreamed about competing in NASCAR my entire life, so I am so thankful to Richard Childress, KCMG and everyone who has played a role in creating this opportunity for me,” Bamber stated. “I know that RCR has a storied history of cultivating talent and will give me all of the tools I need to succeed. I’m looking forward to the race.”
Bamber is the reigning WeatherTech SportsCar GTLM champion; driving for Porsche GT Team, he scored three wins and four additional podiums in 2019. After the first three races of the 2020 season, he and co-driver Laurens Vanthoor sit second in the standings with podiums in each event. The New Zealander has also achieved success in sports cars outside of North America, including winning the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2017 and the overall 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2015 and 2017.
His NASCAR arrival had long been rumoured prior to the announcement. In mid-February, shortly after the start of the season, former CART driver Brian Bonner tweeted a photo of RCR’s #21 hauler with Bamber’s name listed on the side.
The effort will be supported by KC Motorgroup Ltd., which has collaborated with RCR for the last four years. KCMG will also sponsor Tyler Reddick at the Cup Series level; the two had partnered in the Xfinity Series during his 2019 championship campaign.
“It’s extremely special for KCMG to be aligned with Earl Bamber and Tyler Reddick this year,” said team owner Richard Childress. “These two up-and-coming drivers have shown talent and promise. I’ve been watching Earl for a number of years, and I’m pleased to have him join RCR’s strong NASCAR Xfinity Series program.”
It is not uncommon for NASCAR teams to field specialists for road course races. For the Daytona road course weekend, Our Motorsports has enlisted the services of fellow WeatherTech driver Andy Lally. The race will be NASCAR’s first on the infield layout; although Bamber has experience on the course, a slight adjustment has been made for the weekend in the form of a chicane exiting the oval turn four.
The #21 has been shared between Anthony Alfredo, Myatt Snider, and Kaz Grala in 2020. It is currently tenth in the owners’ standings with eight top-ten finishes and a best run of fourth by Alfredo and Snyder at Homestead-Miami Speedway and Pocono Raceway, respectively.