Tuesday, Aug 16

RACE REPORT: Jeffrey Earnhardt / No. 26 ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra

RACE REPORT: Jeffrey Earnhardt / No. 26 ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra NK Photography Photo
EVENT INFORMATION
 
  • Date: February 26, 2022
  • Event: Production Alliance Group 300 (Round 2 of 33)
  • Location: Auto Club Speedway
  • Format: 150 Laps (Stages 35 laps / 35 laps / 80 laps)
  • Start/Finish: 37h / 29th - Running, 4 Laps Down
 
KEY NOTES
 
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt and the No. 26 ForeverLawn / Harvest.org team ran consistent Top-10 lap times throughout the 300-mile race.
  • Earnhardt had competitive race trim speeds during practice but did not qualify. Following a mechanical issue in practice, the No. 26 team started from 37th position.
  • Earnhardt drove through the field three times throughout the 150-lap event.
  • The No. 26 pit crew completed multiple swift stops throughout the #PAG300, resulting in positions gained on pit road.
  • During the Lap 57 caution period, Earnhardt pitted to cool down due to overheating when debris was found on the grille opening. The overheating issue resulted in an alternator failure and battery reserve runout during the Lap-140 caution period. Prior to the failure, Earnhardt was competing for the 10th position with 10-laps remaining in the race after charging from the tail end of the field for the third time.
  • The #PAG2300 was Sam Hunt Racing's first career start at the two-mile track.
 
RACE RECAP
 
Stage One Recap (Laps 1-35)
  • Jeffrey Earnhardt started 37th Saturday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway in the No. 26 ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra.
  • By the Lap 7 caution period, Earnhardt had gained to 16 positions (21st).
  • Crew Chief Allen Hart elected to stay out during the first two caution periods.
  • By Lap 31, Earnhardt was consistently recording Top-Five lap times, proving the speed of the No. 26 machine.
  • Earnhardt finished Stage One in the 16th position.
  • By the end of the stage, Earnhardt reported that the ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra was tight on entry.
  • Hart called Earnhardt to pit road for four tires, fuel, and handling adjustments. During the first stop of the day, the Elevated Performance pit crew allowed the team to gain four positions on pit road -- allowing Earnhardt to restart 12th.
Stage Two Recap (Laps 42-72)
  • Earnhardt started Stage Two from the 12th position.
  • Just prior to the Lap 57 caution period, Earnhardt caught debris on the grille opening, causing the No. 26 Toyota GR Supra to begin overheating. During the caution period, Hart called Earnhardt to pit road to cool the engine down. Earnhardt remained on the lead lap, but had to start at the tail end of the field.
  • Earnhardt completed Stage 2 in the 21st position. He reported that the car was too free on corner-exit. Hart called for four tires, fuel, and an air pressure adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 76-163)
  • The No. 26 ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra started the final stage in the 18th position.
  • With 58 to go, Earnhardt reported the car was battling tight handling issues.
  • The caution flew with 48 to go. Earnhardt pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and another air pressure adjustment to ease the handling in the GR Supra.
  • During this caution, the team received an uncontrolled tire penalty, resulting in a restart at the tail end of the field.
  • With 35 laps remaining, Earnhardt broke into the Top-20 again.
  • During the lap 124 caution period (18th position), the team pitted for 4 tires & fuel with a handling adjustment where the team gained more positions on pit road. Earnhardt restarted 15th.
  • The caution flew once again on Lap 140 when Earnhardt was battling the No. 2 car for the 10th position, and the call from the pit box was to stay out. However, Earnhardt brought it to pit road for a potential battery failure.
  • After further assessment, the team discovered when the Lap 57 debris caused the ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra to overheat, the alternator failed -- resulting in use of the reserve battery. With 10 laps remaining, the reserve had run out resulting in a battery change which put Earnhardt four laps down in the 29th position.
 
 
QUOTES
 
 
 
 
What were your thoughts on today's race?
 
It was amazing to see the speed that our ForeverLawn / Harvest Ministries GR Supra showed. As a team, we weren't really sure what to expect, but we certainly had high expectations. To go from the back to the front three times and being in contention for a Top-10, I think it was really a great positive out of today. Unfortunately because of circumstances, we didn't get that finish, but to sit here and think that we could have driven from the back to the front three different times and been a legitimate Top-10 car says a lot about this team. It says a lot about Sam and the sponsors involved -- it's the dream that we're all chasing to go out there and be competitive. We showed that, we just didn't put it to bed. We'll work to get better, and the next thing you know, we'll be there battling all of these big teams that a lot of people won't be expecting us to outrun. Hard pill to swallow, but very proud of all of the hard work and the speed the team showed.
 
-- Jeffrey Earnhardt, Driver of the No. 26 ForeverLawn / Harvest.org Toyota GR Supra
 
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