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Xfinity Series: Jeffrey Earnhardt returning to JD Motorsports full-time

Riley Herbst will drive the No. 98 Xfinity ride for Stewart-Haas in 2021. Herbst joins NASCAR America to describe what the move means, why he needs to limit mistakes, and the details the challenges of a new car and team.

Fourth-generation driver Jeffrey Earnhardt will run the full 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season for JD Motorsports in its No. 0 Chevrolet.

Earnhardt drove for JDM in 29 races this past season, earning a top finish of 11th on the roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

He also earned four additional finishes inside the top-15.

“We got a late start (on 2020) and the plan was to run six to twelve races, but something good was happening, and by Bristol, you could sense the momentum we were having,” Earnhardt said in a team release.

“We came home in 15th in our third race (at Bristol) and that’s an accomplishment when just a few weeks earlier, we had no plans to work together. We had great partners join us and the season had some real bright spots to build on.”

Earnhardt joins Colby Howard as confirmed full-time drivers for JDM next season. Howard will run the team’s No. 15 entry.

In the same release, the team said further sponsorship announcements for Earnhardt, as well as more driver announcements for 2021, will be made at a later date.

“We are all aware we are underdogs,” Earnhardt continued. “We’re prepared for the hard work it will take to make the playoffs and with additional sponsorship, I think we’ll turn some heads.

“I’m really excited to return to the No. 0 and look forward to working with (team owner) Johnny (Davis) to give the fans a ‘blue collar’ team to cheer for.”

Earnhardt has made 102 career starts in the Xfinity Series, with a top finish of third for Joe Gibbs Racing in the May 2019 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (oval).

He has also made 76 career starts in the top-tier NASCAR Cup Series.