Xfinity: JR Motorsports to field fifth car for Hendrick Cup regulars

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JR Motorsports will field the No. 88 Chevrolet in an additional five Xfinity Series races this season for Hendrick Motorsports’ Cup drivers Chase Elliott, William Byron and Kyle Larson, JRM announced Tuesday.

Elliott, the 2020 Cup champion, will pilot the car May 7 at Darlington Raceway. Byron will compete at Texas (May 21) and New Hampshire (July 16). Larson, the defending Cup title winner, will drive the car at Watkins Glen (Aug. 20) and Darlington (Sept. 3).

JRM owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. spent the final 10 years of his Hall-of-Fame Cup career competing for Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick and the two are partners in four car dealerships in Tallahassee, Florida. Hendrick is also a minority owner in JRM.

HendrickCars.com, Larson’s primary sponsor in Cup, will sponsor the Xfinity entry. All three drivers have previously driven for JRM. Elliott (2014) and Byron (2017) each won Xfinity titles in the team’s No. 9 car. Larson made a Truck Series start for the program in 2015 at Chicagoland Speedway.

“The NASCAR platform has been instrumental in helping us build HendrickCars.com into a national brand, and we look forward to continuing that momentum through this expanded effort,” Greg Gach, president of the Charlotte-based Hendrick Automotive Group, said in a press release. “We are committed to our racing programs 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.”

Earnhardt wheeled the No. 88 Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway on April 8 in his only scheduled appearance of the season. Miguel Paludo earned a ninth-place finish with that car at Circuit of the Americas on March 26. Paludo returns to the car at Road America (July 2) and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course (July 30).

A crew chief will be announced at a later time, according to the release.