After a year of limited starts, Jeffrey Earnhardt is back for the full NASCAR Xfinity Series season. He will join Alpha Prime Racing and drive the No. 44 Chevrolet.
Alpha Prime Racing announced the news on December 13 with a press release. The team confirmed that Earnhardt will be its main driver in 2023 and that he will have ForeverLawn back as his primary partner for multiple races.
The company has been with Earnhardt for multiple seasons, and it was on the No. 3 Chevrolet when he turned in a second-place finish for Richard Childress Racing at Talladega Superspeedway.
“We’re so excited to have Jeffrey with us next season,” APR President Tommy Joe Martins said in a press release. “Jeffrey has been a competitor and a friend to me for a few years now.
“When Caesar [Bacarella] and I started this team last year, we both talked about having Jeffrey at the top of our roster — so to see this all come together for 2023, he and I both feel like we finally got our guy.”
Earnhardt Made 13 Xfinity Series Starts in 2022
The North Carolina native turned heads after the 2021 season by announcing that he would leave JD Motorsports and his full-time ride. He explained that his goal was to find something that would help him contend for wins, and he said that he would be willing to run part-time if necessary.
The 2022 season featured Earnhardt making 13 starts for a variety of teams. He made nine starts for Sam Hunt Racing while driving a Toyota GR Supra. He also joined Emerling-Gase Motorsports for three events and RCR for one.
The trip to Talladega was Earnhardt’s best performance as he won the pole while working with crew chief Larry McReynolds. He then finished second overall behind Noah Gragson while driving the black and green No. 3 Chevrolet.
Along with the top-two finish at the Alabama track, Earnhardt posted a top-10 finish in Tennessee. He drove the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra to a seventh-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway.
APR Has Multiple Drivers Ready for 2023
Earnhardt is the latest driver to join Alpha Prime Racing for the 2023 season. Though he is the first to land a full schedule. He will now become teammates with two other drivers who both drove for the team in 2022.
Ryan Ellis was the first to secure his return to the Xfinity Series team. According to a Jayski article, he will make “at least” 15 starts for APR after joining the team for 12 races in 2022 and qualifying for 11 of them. Ellis will continue to have Keen Parts as his primary partner.
Sage Karam will also make his return for a part-time schedule in 2023 after he made nine starts in 2022 — seven with APR. He posted the best finish in organization history when he crossed the start-finish line third overall at Daytona International Speedway.
“I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to compete again with Tommy and the guys,” Karam said in a press release. “We had our fair share of highs and lows, and everything in between last year, but learned and improved each time.
“What you can’t overlook with APR is Tommy’s leadership and the work ethic of each person at the shop. I put a lot of value into that and will do my best to complement them on and off the track.”
The lineup is partially set, but there will potentially be more announcements in the future. APR relied on 11 drivers in 2022, and it is possible that more will return in 2023. If so, the team could expand to three entries.