Junior's nephew will have to wait

DOVER, Del. -- Fourth-generation Earnhardt driver Jeffrey Earnhardt has failed to qualify for what he was hoping would be his debut race in the Nationwide Series.

Earnhardt was the lone driver Saturday who did not crack the 43-car field at Dover International Speedway. He's the grandson of Dale Earnhardt, the nephew of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and son of Kerry.

Instead, Jeffrey Earnhardt will run a partial schedule this year in NASCAR's second-tier series.

The 19-year-old Earnhardt drove the No. 31 Chevrolet for Rick Ware Racing in his first shot at racing in NASCAR's second-tier series.

Earnhardt will run a progressive schedule from short to intermediate tracks, up to seven races to maintain his rookie status in preparation to race full-time next year.