In a live edition of the Dale Jr. Download, which was recorded at Nashville this past weekend, Dale Earnhardt Jr. revealed that JR Motorsports is still having conversations to move into the NASCAR Cup Series.
At about the 17:20 mark of the show, while talking about Martin Truex Jr. returning to Joe Gibbs Racing for the 2023 season, Earnhardt jokes that he hoped Truex would help his team get started in the NASCAR Cup Series.
“I was hoping Martin would want to come over and help us start our Cup team — JR Motorsports,” Earnhardt quipped to a loud pop from the crowd.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa, what the heck,” Mike Davis, Earnhardt’s co-host questioned.
Earnhardt said since he gave Truex his start with his Chance 2 Motorsports NASCAR Xfinity Series team back in the day, that it’s only fair that Truex would help him get his Cup program started off the ground.
“That’s coming full circle,” Earnhardt said. “I helped him get started, so he might as well help us come get started.”
To which Davis shot back with, “Forget that. Did you just announce that we’re going Cup racing?”
Earnhardt chuckled and said that it wasn’t an announcement, but that JR Motorsports truly does intend on getting to the NASCAR Cup Series and that his sister, Kelley Earnhardt Miller has been working hard on doing just that.
“I wish it was that easy,” Earnhardt explained. “We want to go. We are working out tails off trying to exhaust every opportunity — we want to go Cup racing. JR Motorsports absolutely wants to be in the Cup Series. If y’all knew the amount of conversations that my sister, Kelley, who is the literally the leader of the company, if y’all knew all the conversations she’s had in the last 12 months trying to learn about how we can get that done, y’all would really be happy. Because she has worked her tail off.”
The live show quickly Segwayed to an interview with their guest Darrell Waltrip, but for sure it felt more like an announcement of the perennial NASCAR Xfinity Series championship contending team going to the NASCAR Cup Series than a simple, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if,” moment.
After years of defiantly shooting down questions of if their team would ever move to the NASCAR Cup Series, Earnhardt and his sister finally softened on the idea this past offseason, with the adaptation of the Next Gen car.
The team seriously debated a move into the NASCAR Cup Series for 2022, but the cost of a Team Charter was simply too high for them to make the move. But is there a possibility that JR Motorsports has overcome the cost of entry since then?
We’ll see. But this is definitely the most Earnhardt has ever spoken publicly about his race team moving to the NASCAR Cup Series.
As far as JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, the team is firing on all cylinders this season. Through the first 15 races of 2022, the organization has won six races, including Justin Allgaier’s triumph in this past weekend’s Tennessee Lottery 150 at Nashville Superspeedway.
Overall, the team has also won the last 12 Stages on oval tracks. It’s been truly impressive to see. Three of their four drivers have multiple wins this season, and their fourth driver — young Sam Mayer — has been trending toward reaching victory lane as well.