Penske-Jasper Racing has announced that 2003 NASCAR Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil will be drive the #77 Kodak EasyShare Dodge Charger in next year's NASCAR Nextel Cup, replacing Brendan Gaughan.

Kvapil, who will eligible to chase Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors in 2005, took part in a development programme with Penske Racing this season, and competed in three Nextel Cup Series races, at Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead towards the end of the campaign.

"Travis has shown solid potential and demonstrated the skill and determination it takes to be a winner," team owner Roger Penske said, "We look forward to building on this foundation, along with our sponsor partners Kodak and Jasper."

A handful of late-season top ten finishes proved insufficient to keep Gaughan aboard the #77, handing Kvapil the chance to fulfil a childhood ambition.

"The opportunity to drive for Penske-Jasper Racing is more than a dream come true," he insisted, "I have been a fan of Roger Penske since I was a little kid watching Rick Mears. It's a once in a lifetime chance for a young driver, and I'm excited to get that opportunity."

Just 24 hours after confirming his full-time graduation to the Nextel Cup, however, Kvapil also revealed a part-time commitment to the Busch Series with former Truck series partner Bang Racing. Team owner, Alex Meshkin, and director of Dodge Motorsports, John Fernandez, made the announcement last night [Friday], with Kvapil confirmed for a limited race programme.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity of running part-time in the Busch Series, and know the additional seat time will help me in my chase for the rookie of the year in the Nextel Cup," he said.