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EARNHARDT 30th IN DEBUT RACE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Jeffrey Earnhardt made his debut Saturday with the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller No. 4 team at Daytona International Speedway, finishing 30th in the season-opening DRIVE4COPD 300 Nationwide Series race.

Earnhardt started 37th, putting him at a big disadvantage when the lead group locked into a tight draft in the race’s early laps. By lap 38, he had been lapped by race leader Dale Earnhardt Jr.

But Jeffrey held on from that point forward and finished the race one lap down.

“It wasn’t the kind of finish we’d have preferred,” he said. “But it’s the first race. And it was Daytona. Once you get behind and can’t get into that big draft at the front, it’s tough. We’ll move on from here.”

Driving the Flex Seal Chevrolet, Earnhardt sits 22nd in Nationwide Series points heading into the second race of the year at Phoenix International Raceway March 1.