Who owns JR Motorsports? As the face of JR Motorsports’ ownership, the NASCAR Hall of Fame driver and his sister Kelley have thought about making the jump from competing in the Xfinity Series to NASCAR’s top flight, but he cautions it has to “make sense.”
Who owns JR Motorsports?
JR Motorsports is the professional race team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. JR Motorsports tours nationally in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with four full-time entries and has three championships (2014, 2017 and 2018) to its credit and 58 series victories.
The company also maintains a distinction as the only NXS team to produce rookie champions, accomplishing the feat with Chase Elliott (2014), William Byron (2017) and Tyler Reddick (2018).
History of JR Motorsports
JR Motorsports began in a shed on the property of Dale Earnhardt, Inc. in 1998 with just one employee, as the marketing division of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s race team. The original intent of the business was to help Earnhardt Jr. sell T-shirts and negotiate sponsorship deals.
It wasn’t until 2002 that Earnhardt Jr. turned the business into a race team when T. J. Majors drove street stock division at Concord Motorsport Park in North Carolina. Upon Earnhardt Jr.’s signing with Hendrick Motorsports, the Hendrick and JR Motorsports Nationwide Series teams were merged.
The first win for the team came at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, VA, in 2004. (At the time, Earnhardt Jr. was co-owner of another racing venture, Chance 2 Motorsports.)
JR Motorsports in its current form, competing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series started in 2006 when sponsorship from the United States Navy funded the team. The team originally wanted to open in 2007, but the Navy sponsorship accelerated the operations.
Today, the team operates out of a 66,000-square-foot (6,100 m2) race shop near Mooresville, North Carolina.
In early 2019 it was announced that JR Motorsports had formed a driver development program with GMS Racing, Drivers Edge Development, to train young drivers.
Drivers in the program would race in JR Motorsports’ Late Model and NASCAR Xfinity Series teams, as well as GMS Racing’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series, ARCA Menards Series, and NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series teams. JR Motorsports drivers Noah Gragson, Zane Smith, Sam Mayer, and Adam Lemke were among the inaugural members of the program.
On April 11, 2021, Earnhardt Jr. hinted that JR Motorsports may move up to the Cup Series, given the proposed savings associated with the debut of the Next Gen car in 2022. The challenges for the team are acquiring a charter and securing sponsorship for a Cup program.
On August 24, 2022, Director of Competition Ryan Pemberton parted ways with JR Motorsports after working with the team since 2012. On September 1, Mike Bumgarner was announced as Pemberton’s replacement.
NASCAR Cup Series and Future of JR Motorsports
During a press conference at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on May 16, 2008, Dale Earnhardt Jr. stated that once the Nationwide Series starts using the Car of Tomorrow chassis, which is set for an August, 2009 debut at the intermediate tracks, his Nationwide teams possibly will leave the Nationwide Series, due to the costs of switching cars.
When asked if he will move JR Motorsports to the Sprint Cup Series, Earnhardt Jr. said that due to the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series almost having the same expensive costs, he might move the team to the Sprint Cup Series as early as 2009 “if the right opportunity comes along with the right sponsorship and driver…”
Other Racing Series
ARCA Menards Series
JRM has competed in six ARCA Racing Series events. Landon Cassill made the team debut in 2008 driving the No. 88 Chevrolet at Daytona and finished 7th. He returned at Talladega but finished 39th due to a crash.
The team would not compete in 2009 but returned for the 2010 ARCA Racing Series’ season. Danica Patrick drove the No. 7 car at Daytona and finished 6th.
The team did not run between 2011 and 2014 but returned in 2015 with Cole Custer behind the wheel of the No. 00 Chevrolet. Custer made the pole position and led 15 laps but finished 5th at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
He returned at the first Pocono race but finished 24th due to an axle problem. He then returned for the second Pocono race, started 5th, and won the race, after leading 18 laps. That win was the first and only win of JR Motorsports in ARCA. That race also was the last of the team in ARCA.
CARS Tour/NASCAR Advanced Auto Parts Weekly Series
JR Motorsports has fielded a regional late model program since 2002.
JR Motorsports fields the No. 88 Chevrolet driven by Josh Berry and various other drivers in Late Models. Berry, who has driven for JRM since 2010, captured the 2012 Motor Mile Speedway championship in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, the first championship for JRM at any level, running 18 races while collecting 6 poles and 15 top 5 finishes.
Berry scored a second track championship at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2014. William Byron scored a single victory to finish runner up to Berry for the NASCAR-sanctioned track championship at Hickory.
Pierce, who finished second in his Camping World Truck Series debut in the Mudsummer Classic at Eldora Speedway during the 2015 season, made his debut with JRM that year at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Christian Eckes ran the No. 1 Chevrolet for the 2016 season finishing 4th in the championship behind Berry in 3rd.
Anthony Alfredo was the Late Model development driver for the 2017 CARS Tour season, running the No. 8, and would go on to win two races and finish a close second in the championship to teammate Josh Berry.
On January 18, 2018, JRM announced the replacement of Anthony Alfredo, who announced the same day that he was moving to the K&N Series with MDM Motorsports, with 14-year-old Sam Mayer, which later on that year made his K&N Series debut and drove for MDM in his third race in the K&N Series.
On August 4, 2018, Mayer will drive the 28 and Berry will drive the 73 for the throwback weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway. Mayer went on to collect one win and finish 5th in the standings behind Berry in 4th in his No. 8 Chevrolet.
Adam Lemke ran the new No. 98 in 2019 and unfortunately struggled for most of the season and finished 9th in the standings and missed two races.
Connor Mosack ran the No. 98 in the final race of 2019 and would go on to run full-time in 2020 at first in the No. 8 but would start running the No. 88 after Berry focused on an Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Championship, he finished 6th in the standings.
William Cox III was announced to run for JR Motorsports full-time in the CARS Tour for 2021, however he was released 4 races in and was replaced by Conner Jones for majority of the remaining races. Josh Berry ran a few late model races also in 2021.
Carson Kvapil, son of former NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, will run the No. 8 full-time in 2022 after closing the 2021 season for the team.
JRM’s late model program has fielded rides for current NASCAR spotter T. J. Majors and Jeremy McGrath. It is currently overseen by Kelley Earnhardt Miller’s husband, L. W. Miller.
Who is the owner of JR Motorsports?
The team is based in Mooresville, North Carolina, co-owned by former NASCAR Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt Jr., his sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Kelley’s husband and former racer L.W.
What percentage of JR Motorsports does Rick Hendrick own?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that JR Motorsports, the Nationwide team which had been a 50-50 joint venture with his car owner Rick Hendrick, would now also be part owned by his sister, Kelly Earnhardt, and his cousin and former crew chief Tony Eury Jr.
How many cars does JR Motorsports own?
Despite many personnel changes this season, JRM is looking to replicate last year’s success. MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 23, 2023) — JR Motorsports put three of its four cars in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 in 2022 and earned a team-record 15 victories during the season.
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