The two-car operation founded by Joey Gase and Patrick Emerling announced the news on March 8. They issued a press release and confirmed that Earnhardt will take over the No. 35 Toyota GR Supra for the United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway (4:30 p.m. ET, FS1). Dalstrong, a knife, cookware, and culinary accessory company, will join Earnhardt as his primary partner.
“All of us at EGM are extremely excited to have Jeffrey be a part of the EGM family,” Gase said in a statement. “Jeffrey and I have raced together for years and have always had the upmost respect for each other. We have had speed at EGM and excited to see what Jeffrey can do for our team.”
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Gase Made 2 Starts in the No. 35 Toyota
The No. 35 Toyota has featured two different drivers through the first three Xfinity Series races. Shane Lee used the entry during the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway, but a crash ended his day early.
Gase, who made his season debut in the No. 53 Ford, took over the No. 35 Toyota at Auto Club Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He posted a top-20 finish in California and a 22nd-place finish in Nevada while avoiding multiple on-track incidents.
Earnhardt will now take over the No. 35 after making two starts for Sam Hunt Racing. He drove the No. 26 to a 15th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway and had the opportunity to secure a top-10 at Auto Club Speedway. However, an overheating alternator ended his day with 10 laps remaining.
“I’m so excited to start this new partnership with Dalstrong and get an opportunity to race with EGM,” Earnhardt said in a statement. “I’ve always respected Joey’s work ethic and it was important to me to stick with Toyota teams this season. They’ve been really welcoming to me and I look forward to working with the EGM team this weekend.”
Earnhardt Will Make His Eighth Start at Phoenix
When Earnhardt suits up for the race at Phoenix Raceway, it will be his eighth time competing on the one-mile track in the Xfinity Series. His first two starts took place with Go Fas Racing while the next five were with JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, a run that includes a career-best finish of 19th at the track in 2021.
The race at Phoenix will provide Earnhardt with another opportunity to compete, but it will be in decidedly different equipment. He explained after the 2021 season that he would depart JD Motorsports and search for opportunities to contend for wins.
Emerling-Gase Motorsports has only taken part in three Xfinity Series races, so there is no clear indication as to whether the team is on the cusp of top-10 and top-five finishes. However, Earnhardt will provide a clearer picture when he suits up for his return to Phoenix.