GAFFNEY, S.C. – JD Motorsports with Gary Keller owner Johnny Davis announced Monday that Colby Howard will race full time for the team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next year.
Howard, originally from Simpsonville, S.C., made 22 starts for JDM this past season, with seven top-20 finishes highlighting his part-time schedule in 2020.
Entering the year, Howard had limited NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series starts, but made his name on the short tracks throughout the southeast in late model competition.
Howard’s NASCAR Xfinity Series debut was at Arizona’s Phoenix Raceway in March, the last race before the COVID-19 break. The original game plan for Howard was to learn the larger intermediate tracks and become more accustomed to the faster speeds associated with the heavier cars than what he was used to.
From the pandemic on, however, the 19-year-old had to adapt quickly to the cars with no practice or qualifying at the remaining races he ran.
As the season progressed, it became apparent that Howard had what it took to compete at the Xfinity Series level. At Daytona Int’l Speedway in August, Howard picked up the art of superspeedway racing, notching his best career finish of 12th place.
Entering a new year, Howard will have some familiarity, returning to the seat of his familiar No. 15 Chevrolet Camaro. However, there will be a new crew chief atop the pit box in veteran Wayne Carroll.
Howard will face new challenges this season, in particular road course racing, a discipline he has never experienced. But he is eager to take on the task of running a full season and looking forward to get started.
“I cannot thank Johnny Davis and Gary Keller enough for the opportunity to run a full season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series next year,” Howard said. “What we were able to accomplish this season with limited track time was really impressive, and it just goes to show what this team is made of. I know that my crew has been working very hard since the season finale in Phoenix, and am confident that we will have a fun year. Wayne Carroll has put together some fast cars, and I will rely heavily on him as I make this jump in my career.
“There is a lot for me to look forward to heading into 2021, and I am excited to continue to learn and develop my abilities on the race track.”
The Project Hope Foundation, an organization aimed at assisting children with autism develop into society, will once again serve as the primary sponsor on the No. 15 Chevy.
Project Hope calls South Carolina home as well, tying in a statewide connection with Howard and the entire JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team.
Further sponsorship announcements for Howard will be made at a later date, along with additional driver announcements to fill out the JDM lineup.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series season kicks off at Daytona Int’l Speedway on Feb. 13.