Erik Darnell Makes Jump to Sprint Cup
NASCAR drivers progress through a series of stages as they make their way to the top tier of NASCAR, the Sprint Cup Series. The journey can often be hazardous and long but ultimately rewarding if you make it to the Sprint Cup Series. Erik Darnell has spent his years in the trenches preparing for the day when he steps upon the Sprint Cup Series stage and this young racer is about to get his chance. Saturday he’ll jump into Yates Racing Hall of Fame Racing entry at Atlanta Motor Speedway in his first Sprint Cup Series competition.
Darnell also shares a ride on the Nationwide Series with Roush Racing but will now compete at New Hampshire, Kansas, Talladega, Texas, Phoenix, and Homestead in the Sprint Cup Series as well. His No. 96 will be primarily backed by Academy Sports and Outdoor at Atlanta, Talladega, and Texas, while his car will be sponsored by Northern Tool and Equipment at New Hampshire and Kansas.
Yates Racing has had to scramble to bridge a sponsorship gap and this seems to be the solution they have settled on. This will mean that veteran racer Bobby Labonte will be stepping out from behind the wheel of the No. 96 car for seven races. Ask.com has been the main sponsor for the No. 96 car through most of the 2009 season. They committed to 18 of the first 21 races on the schedule and up to 29 total races, depending on the conditions. DLP has committed to filling some of the sponsor gaps that have appeared, but not all of them. Yates Racing and Hall of Fame have a one-year agreement to provide for the No. 96 race car and it’s up to Yates Racing to fill any sponsorship holes.
There were a number of races that didn’t have the sponsorship they need to be successful for the team and they’re looking around for additional help for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. The help Yates Racing and Erik have received from Northern Tool is going to help them make it through the Nationwide and Truck Series seasons.
Erik Darnell is a talented driver who has been steadily progressing through the ranks. I am looking forward to seeing what he can do as a Sprint Cup driver and watching him progress through his Sprint Cup Series career. In the years to come Erik is one of the drivers we could be watching thrill us on the Sprint Cup Series. He has a lot to learn but he has the talent to become one of the best in the business.
“Image: Zuma Press”