NASCAR K&N Pro Series East product Cale Conley will drive for Richard Childress Racing on a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season starting next month at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Conley, who earned four Top-5s and five Top-10s in a full-time K&N Series drive last year, is set to race the No. 33 Chevrolet in the Nationwide Series. He’ll be paired up with crew chief Nick Harrison.
“I am very grateful and anxious for the opportunity to race with Richard Childress Racing,” the 21-year-old said in a release.
“My goal, at this point, is to get past these anxious feelings, do what I know best on the track and learn as much as possible from the team. Opportunities like this don’t come along often, so I am going to do my best and learn as much as possible.”
“We look forward to getting Cale in our car and seeing him take the next step in his career,” team owner Richard Childress said in his own thoughts. “He’s done a good job on the K&N level and we’re pairing him up with a solid race team.
“It’s going to be a bit of a learning curve, so that’s why the limited schedule works perfect for him and allows him to progress at a comfortable pace.”
The invite has been received, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. has another iRacing event on his schedule.
The NASCAR on NBC analyst tweeted Wednesday that he will make his debut in the IndyCar iRacing Challenge with Saturday’s race at Michigan Speedway. The race will be shown live on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday.
The 2-mile oval was chosen by IndyCar drivers as the third track in the six-race series. Earnhardt heartily endorsed Michigan as a potential iRacing venue Monday along with Daytona and Talladega. Michigan nearly was selected by fans as the opener in the iRacing Challenge.
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Earnhardt, a longtime avid iRacing fan, had been lobbying since last Thursday that he was interested in racing with IndyCar drivers.
He has driven in the first three races of the eNASCAR Pro Invitational, finishing second to Denny Hamlin in the opener at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Last year, he attended his first Indianapolis 500, working as an analyst as part of NBC Sports’ inaugural broadcast of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.
“I’d love to do it,” Earnhardt said Monday about joining the IndyCar iRacing Challenge. “I think I’d love to get to know those guys.
“I had such a great time at the Indy 500 last year, and the reception that I received from other drivers there really meant a lot to me. So I know they’re all a lot of great dudes in that series that I already know that I’d love to get to know some of them even better.”
It already has been quite the week for Earnhardt, who was announced Monday as one of 15 nominees for the 2021 NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The field for Saturday’s race at Michigan should include another NASCAR driver in Jimmie Johnson. The seven-time Cup champion has driven the first two races of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge (and has plans to race IndyCar part time in the future).