Cup Series Competition Still Possible for JR Motorsports

JR Motorsports


Dale Earnhardt Jr. (right) chats with Noah Gragson (left) before the race at the Daytona International Speedway.

JR Motorsports remains focused on the NASCAR Xfinity Series and championship competition, but there is a scenario where the organization will make a different series. Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports, has confirmed that there is still a possibility of JRM joining the Cup Series.

Earnhardt Miller spoke to NBC Sports and confirmed that the door remains open. There are a number of factors that lead to a potential move, such as buying a charter or continuing without co-owner Rick Hendrick due to NASCAR regulations regarding having ownership stakes in multiple teams.

For me, it’s all about timing,” Earnhardt Miller told NBC Sports’ Zach Sturniolo in a longer interview. “What would make sense, right? So we thought hard about the new car last year. Obviously, that kind of pushed our thought process past… that barrier to entry and… what we thought would be more competitive.”

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Previously solved potential & hurdles

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

GettyDale Earnhardt Jr. has repeatedly mentioned the topic of Cup Series racing.

The interview with NBC Sports is not the only time JR Motorsports has mentioned the possibility of switching to Cup Series competition. Co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr also spoke on the topic several times during the 2021 Xfinity Series and revealed that JR Motorsports has been conducting internal discussions about the future of the Cup Series.

One of those conversations revolved around an obstacle JRM would have to overcome. To join a Cup Series team, he wanted a charter that guaranteed participation in every scheduled race, as well as a larger share of the wallet. Obtaining this charter will likely require tens of millions of dollars.

“[The charter] is the only barrier,” Earnhardt told SiriusXM in the 2021 season. “I mean, the way they’re talking about this new car, it’s going to be more expensive in the Xfinity Series than it is in the Cup Series. I don’t see how that’s really possible. The numbers you hear – the equivalent of what the new car in the Cup Series will cost and what it takes to run it – sound very conservative and very aggressive, too good to be true. But we’ll have to wait and see. Hopefully, they’re right.”

JRM has many driving candidates

If JRM pursues the Cup Series in the future, there will be many options for drivers. In particular, the two have experience in competing in Cup tournaments.

Justin Allgaier has made 79 Cup Series starts in his career, including full-time seasons in 2014 and 2015 for HScott Motorsports. Allgaier has also started limited to Hendrick Motorsports, Spire Motorsports and Phoenix Racing. His best finish in the Cup Series was running in eighth at the Bristol Motor Speedway in 2015.

Noah Gragson, who also drives full-time for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series, has less experience as a Cup Series driver. He made his debut in the 2022 Daytona 500 driving for Beard Motorsports and ran in the top 10 in many race points. Gragson made his second start of the year at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, the first of 14 in the 16th Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro. His day ends soon after a violent collision with a wall.

Gragson will continue to gain experience as a Cup Series driver while starting for both Beard Motorsports and Kaulig Racing. He’ll go up against the best drivers in NASCAR while also learning how to better control the classic Gen 7 cars.

CONTINUE READING: A ‘young gun’ could secure Joe Gibbs Racing’s first win of 2022 Cup Series Competition Still Possible for JR Motorsports

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