Jeffrey Earnhardt, Bobby Labonte to Share No. 32 Ride in 2016by Kyle Pokrefky September 19, 2015 0 comments
JOLIET, Ill. — Go Green Racing revealed their 2016 plans for the Sprint Cup Series early on Saturday morning as Jeffrey Earnhardt and Bobby Labonte were announced as the drivers for their No. 32 car for next season.
Earnhardt, 26, will have a shot at Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors next year as he will race in all but four races as 2000 series champion Labonte will race in all four points-paying restrictor plate races.
Sponsorship for the No. 32 ride will be picked up by Can-Am for all 36 points races of the 2016 season. On Saturday morning, Can-Am also announced that they will pick up sponsorship for the twin duel races at Daytona International Speedway the Thursday before the Daytona 500.
“This is a great partnership with Can-Am,” Earnhardt said at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday. “They’re powersports, that’s what they’ve been for forever. [For them] to be involved with a sport like NASCAR is a perfect fit in my opinion, and they’ve got really cool utilities you can play around on.
“As well as them sponsoring the Duels, this is going to be an excellent package and they have a lot of good stuff going on in the future and I’d like to see this partnership continue to grow and continue to get better. Hopefully we can go do our part on the track and of course they’re going to put on a great show down in Daytona with the Duels.”
Earnhardt, son of Kerry and grandson of Dale Sr., will be a full-time Sprint Cup driver from the third generation of Earnhardts. While his father Kerry never had a full-time shot at the series, Jeffrey will join uncle Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the second full-time Earnhardt in 2016.
“To be able to make this step into the Sprint Cup Series is a dream come true,” the younger Earnhardt said. “That’s what I’ve been working for my whole entire life and now to actually be here is pretty unbelievable.”
As he admits, there will be plenty of development for the 26-year-old to go through as he only has one Sprint Cup start under his belt – a 40th-place result turned in with Go Green Racing at Richmond International Raceway one week ago.
He will be in good hands though as Labonte, 21-time race winner in the Sprint Cup Series, will not only serve as co-driver of the No. 32 car, but as Earnhardt’s mentor as well.
“I have a lot of development to do with myself and to learn these cars,” Earnhardt said. “I understand that I’ve got a long way to go, but obviously with Bobby being my mentor and co-driver for the No. 32 Can-Am car, it’s going to help me a lot.
“He’s a champion, he’s been there and he’s been in the sport for a long time. I’ve got a lot of stuff that I can rely on him to further my development in the series.”
Through 26 races this year, the No. 32 team currently sits 40th in the owners standings with a best race finish of 24th coming with Labonte in the season-opening Daytona 500 in February.
Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images