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Notes: Keselowski drops out of Glen Nationwide

Earnhardt-Ganassi fired both men with immediate effect. "We have a zero tolerance policy in this organization and effective immediately, both individuals' employment has been terminated," said team co-owner Chip Ganassi, who said he was "extremely disappointed with the news."

As a formality, NASCAR also followed up the firings by handing down indefinite series bans to both men for violation of the circuit's substance abuse policy as well as actions detrimental to stock-car racing.

Joe Gibbs Racing hands over engine build to Toyota

Joe Gibbs Racing has announced that it is to merge its engine program with that of Toyota Racing Development next season, meaning that it will be running the same power units as those used by Michael Waltrip Racing.

The move follows a worrying trend of engine failures for JGR in 2011, with 11 engine failures recorded so far this season resulting in Denny Hamlin starting from the back in four races.

The consolidation is also required by Toyota, as they face the likely loss of one of their three NASCAR Cup teams with the fate of Red Bull Racing still in the balance. Toyota could not make a viable plan out of supplying just one team (MWR) from its southern California facility going forward in 2012.

JGR will receive the Toyota-built parts and add its own package to the motors, and has also struck a deal with MWR to do the same for that team - safeguarding jobs in the JGR engine program.

"It's just a great deal for both organizations, as well as the Michael Waltrip Racing organization," said the president of Toyota Racing Development, Lee White. "It brings all three of the entities closer together cooperatively in terms of engines, drivability, supporting the engines at the racetrack and also extending into the chassis."

The current Toyota-built engine does not fit in the 2011 JGR chassis, but the team have not ruled out making changes to their cars before the end of the season to allow for the team to get a jump on the transition, which will also see the introduction of electronic fuel injection to the series, replacing carburetors.

Pocono shortens races for 2012

Organisers at Pocono Raceway have announced that both NASCAR Sprint Cup races at the circuit will be shortened from 500 to 400 miles in 2012, as debate continues about the length of races in the series.

"The 400 mile distance will make NASCAR racing at Pocono even more exciting," said the president and CEO of Pocono, Brandon Igdalsky.




Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, sits in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam RV Insurance 500 at Pocono Raceway on Aug. 5 in Long Pond, Pa. [Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, poses with the trophy in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #19 DrawTire Ford, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 Dollar General Toyota, and the rest of the field during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series UNOH 200 presented by ZLOOP at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford takes the chequered flag to win the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, drives the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford during the Nationwide Children`s 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Nationwide Children`s Hospital Ford Mustang Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Nationwide Children`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
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Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Careers For Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Will Schneekloth/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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