Ginn Racing replaced 30-year NASCAR veteran Sterling Marlin in its No. 14 Chevrolet with 23-year-old rookie Regan Smith on Tuesday, and released veteran Joe Nemechek.
Jaye Frye, Ginn Racing's CEO and general manager, also said that Aric Almirola, another 23-year-old, signed with Joe Gibbs Racing and will become Mark Martin's co-driver in the No. 01 Chevrolet for the remainder of this season. Almirola will also share the ride with the veteran racer in 2008.
Beginning with the July 29 race at Indianapolis, Smith will replace two-time Daytona 500 winner Marlin, who turned 50 on June 30. He was 29th in the season points with no finish better than 13th.
Frye said a lack of sponsorship forced the team to release Nemechek and evaluate the future of the No. 13 car. The 43-year-old Nemechek had one top-10 finish this season — ninth in the season-opening Daytona 500 — and was 33rd in the standings.
Marlin joined Ginn Racing following the 2005 season. Nemechek joined the team, then called MB2 Motorsports, with four races remaining in the 2003 season. He drove the No. 01 car before taking over the No. 13 ride at the beginning of this season. While in the 01 car, he had one win and three poles.
Smith has competed in five Nextel Cup races this season while sharing the ride with Martin.
Almirola, of Cuban descent, was one of Joe Gibbs Racing's first prospects in the company's diversity program founded by Gibbs and the late Reggie White, an initiative that traces its roots back to 2003.
He will make his Ginn Racing debut on Aug. 12 on the road course in Watkins Glen, New York. As part of his contractual obligations, Almirola will also compete in five more Busch races for JGR this season.
Story Courtesy: AP Wire Reports
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