1990 Daytona 500 winner Derrike Cope has lost his NASCAR Nextel Cup ride with the No.50 Arnold Motorsports team and will be replaced by Mike Wallace for this weekend's MBNA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Despite only sitting 36th in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup Standings, noted journeyman Cope has done a solid job through the first 12 events of the season and qualified an outstanding fifth for the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 at Darlington.

However in 12 starts the yellow No.50 Dodge has finished no higher than 25th (also at Darlington) and has nine finishes of 30th or worse and after a 34th place effort in last Sunday's Coca Cola 600, team owner Don Arnold gave Cope his marching orders.

"Certainly I'm not pleased," Cope told Florida based newspaper the Naples Daily News (www.naplesnews.com) "This wasn't something I anticipated. There are no hard feelings. Some things happen for a reason."

Wallace, whose last NASCAR Cup start came in last November's Checker Auto Parts 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway with James Finch's No.09 Phoenix Racing team, will run an undisclosed number of races in the No.50 with backing from his current Busch Series sponsors Geico.

Road course expert PJ Jones will also come on board for two of the three races that follow this weekend's event at 'The Monster Mile' and will pilot the No.50 Dodge at Pocono and Sears Point. No decision has been made as to the driver for the event at Michigan on June 20th.

Cope becomes the second official Arnold Motorsports driving casualty after the team released Billy Bigley Jr less than half a season after entering NASCAR's highest division in August 2003.

Don Arnold is currently 37th in the Nextel Cup Owner Standings.