Earnhardt splits with sponsor iK9

Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Earnhardt splits with sponsor iK9

NASCAR

Earnhardt splits with sponsor iK9

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Jeffrey Earnhardt has split with sponsor iK9 and will not compete for Joe Gibbs Racing this weekend at Mid-Ohio.

Earnhardt was scheduled to drive the No. 18 iK9 Toyota on Saturday afternoon in the Xfinity Series road course race. However, he posted Wednesday morning on Twitter that he and iK9 had “parted ways” and he thanked the company for giving him the opportunity to compete for Gibbs and Toyota.

Mid-Ohio would have been Earnhardt’s sixth start with JGR and he’d been having a career year in the Xfinity Series. In seven starts — five with Gibbs and two for Xtreme Concepts Racing — Earnhardt had earned three top-10 finishes with 30 laps led.

Earnhardt had also driven the Xtreme Concepts Cup Series car at Talladega Superspeedway in the team’s NASCAR Cup Series debut.

iK9 remains a sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing and a team spokesman said a driver for this weekend would be announced soon. A driver for the other iK9-sponsored races (Earnhardt was also to compete at Road America, ISM Raceway, and Homestead) will be announced at a later date.

Xtreme Concepts Racing’s plans for its upcoming races at Bristol (Xfinity), Darlington (Xfinity), and Talladega (Cup) are unknown.

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