NASCAR Xfinity Series

JR Motorsports adds fifth car for 5 races with Hendrick drivers

2 Mins read
Credit: JR Motorsports

NASCAR Xfinity Series team JR Motorsports is closely connected to Cup Series operation Hendrick Motorsports, for whom JRM owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. drove while HMS leader Rick Hendrick has a stake in JRM. To further consummate the relationship, JRM will field the #88 Chevrolet Camaro in five Xfinity races for Hendrick drivers William Byron, Chase Elliott, and Kyle Larson.

Elliott will be the first to race as the Cup points leader enters the Darlington Raceway event on 7 May. Byron and Larson have two starts apiece as the former races at Texas Motor Speedway (21 May) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (16 July), while the latter is in at Watkins Glen International (20 August) and the second Darlington race (3 September)., which is run by the Hendrick Automotive Group and sponsors Larson’s #5 Cup car, will appear on the #88 for each date.

“The NASCAR platform has been instrumental in helping us build into a national brand, and we look forward to continuing that momentum through this expanded effort,” commented Hendrick Automotive Group president Greg Gach. “We are committed to our racing programmes and supporting our Hendrick Motorsports teammates whenever we can, and we know these additional races will benefit our drivers and teams. We’re also excited to work with Dale Jr. on this opportunity. He’s a terrific partner whose dealerships have created tremendous value for our General Motors customers. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

Byron and Elliott are former Xfinity champions, respectively winning the titles as rookies in 2017 and 2014 for JRM. Since winning four races and the championship in his lone season before moving up to the Cup Series, Byron has not raced in the Xfinity Series since. A five-time Xfinity race winner who won at Darlington in 2014, Elliott last raced in the series at Indianapolis last year as an injury replacement for Michael Annett.

Larson, the reigning Cup champ who has twelve Xfinity victories, made his most recent start in 2018 at Bristol, an event he ultimately won. Unlike his peers, he has never raced for JRM in the Xfinity Series though he finished seventh in a Camping World Truck Series one-off with the organisation in 2015.

While the trio have races lined up, the fourth HMS driver Alex Bowman is left watching from the stands or on television. Bowman, who scored his lone Xfinity win in 2017 and last raced a year later, commented on Twitter, “I’m really pumped for these guys and everything we have going on this year. Don’t worry, I will get my turn. Stay tuned”.

The #88 has already run twice in 2022 with Earnhardt and road course ringer Miguel Paludo. Earnhardt finished eleventh at Martinsville, while Paludo placed ninth at COTA in his first of three contracted races with later starts scheduled for Road America and Indianapolis in July.

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Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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