Jack Hawksworth will make his NASCAR debut this weekend at Mid-Ohio.
With Jeffrey Earnhardt no longer aligned with iK9, Joe Gibbs Racing has announced that Hawksworth will drive the No. 18 iK9 Supra this weekend in the Xfinity Series race. Hawksworth has spent the past three seasons competing in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship’s GTD class, prior to which he spent three seasons in IndyCar.
“I’m excited to be joining the Joe Gibbs Racing team and driving the No. 18 iK9 Toyota Supra this weekend at Mid-Ohio,” said Hawksworth. “It’s a fantastic opportunity in a completely different series, against completely different competition and in a different type of racing.
“From a personal perspective, I’m very excited to experience something new and to be challenged in a new way. It’s going to be very different. I’m sure it’s going to be difficult and there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve with it, but I’m going into it with a championship-winning organization so that gives me a lot of confidence. I look to get out there and do a good job and looking forward to getting out on the track.”
Earnhardt announced on Twitter this morning that he and iK9 had parted ways. In a series of tweets responding to fans on its page, iK9 said Earnhardt was the one who “cancelled his contract” with the company.
JGR told RACER that a driver for the other iK9 sponsored races will be announced at a later date.
“As we head in to the second road course of the season, we’re fortunate to have a veteran like Jack Hawksworth be able to come out of the Lexus program to help out the Toyota family and our team in the No. 18 iK9 Supra this weekend,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series and Development for Joe Gibbs Racing.
“He will bring a great deal of experience and a history of success to JGR this weekend. I think he’ll be a great asset to our team and be someone that both Brandon (Jones) and Christopher (Bell) can look to for advice on how to get around Mid-Ohio. He’s proven he can win at the track and no reason not to continue that this weekend with the 18 team.”