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Nationwide teams forced to cut back

Even Joe Gibbs Racing is not immune the chill winds of economic reality sweeping NASCAR's Nationwide series, as the #20 car is withdrawn from Chicago despite leading in the owner points.
One car that won't be appearing at this weekend's STP 300 Nationwide race at Chicagoland is the Joe Gibbs Racing #20 Toyota, despite the car having a 15-point lead in the owners' points table. The car had been due to be driven by Joey Logano, who will be driving in the Cup race at Kansas on Sunday.

Meanwhile the team's #18 car normally driven by Kyle Busch will instead be under the control of Kelly Bires, while Busch focusses on the Cup and Truck races in Kansas.

Joe Gibbs confirmed that the withdrawal of the #20 was due to a lack of sponsorship, and that the car would no longer be making regular series appearances.

"We entered the car before we put everything together and realized it couldn't work," Gibbs admitted.

"We're still going to run a lot with the #20," Gibbs insisted, "but right now, we don't have the money lined-up to go the whole way and we were fortunate and thankful to get as far as we did - running the whole year.

"Both cars are kind of in the same boat. We're just going to go as far as we can and as long as we can go and just kind of see where it goes. We've kind of been blessed to get where we are with the #20 and the #18, and they've got some more [sponsorship] lined-up, but there's still some empty races that we'd love to fill, but we don't have to fill."

The withdrawal of the #20 together with the absence of the #04 Go Green Racing Ford means that only 42 cars are entered for the 43-car maximum race.

Meanwhile Pastrana-Waltrip Racing also confirmed that their funding shortfall had now reached the point where rookie Ryan Truex's #99 car will also now been forced to go part-time and may be limited to as few as eight of the 20 remaining races in the 2011 season.

"Ryan is really starting to mature in the seat and the team is starting to gel," said team co-owner Blake Bechtel. "He deserves to run every week so that he can keep getting that valuable experience. We will entertain and pursue other opportunities so that we may race more than the existing commitments."

"Yeah, it's a little disheartening when you think about it," Truex said. "These last four races we've really hit our stride and started running good."

19-year-old Truex - the younger brother of Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. - is still entered in this weekend's race at Chicagoland and says he's still looking for opportunities to continue his drive.

"We're doing all we can, but luck hasn't really been on our side."



Related Pictures

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The Joe Gibbs Racing Game Stop Toyota #20 usually driven by Joey Logano in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, which topped the owners` points going into June 2011. [Picture credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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Marybeth - Unregistered

June 04, 2011 1:18 AM

Perhaps Kimi could run the Gibbs # 20 Nationwide car since they do not have any sponsorship & have withdrawn from previously scheduled races...? It would help them both out. :)



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