At the moment, there’s no Earnhardt set to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2018.
After Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement following the 2017 season, Jeffrey Earnhardt was set to carry on the family name. Junior’s nephew, the son of Kerry Earnhardt, signed a contract in October to continue to drive the No. 33 car in 2018.
That contract extension is no more. Tuesday, TMG and Circle Sport, which teamed up to run the No. 33 car in 2017, announced they were splitting. According to ESPN, that means Earnhardt is out of a ride.
TMG said in its statement Tuesday morning that Circle Sport owner Joe Falk made the decision to split.
— Circle Sport w/ TMG (@CSTMG3330) December 12, 2017
Falk and Circle Sport own the charter the No. 33 car used in 2017. The charter is guaranteed entry into all Cup Series races and also guarantees a larger slice of revenue from NASCAR than non-charter teams get.
Jeffrey Earnhardt competed in 34 of 36 races in 2017. His average finish was 33rd and had a best finish of 26th on three different occasions.
TMG, which previously fielded the backmarker No. 30 car, said it intends to field a car in 2018. With charters looking to be available from other teams not fielding as many cars as they have previously, the team should be able to secure one if it wants.
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