Gibbs withdraws points-leading car at Chicago
June 1, 2011
01:40 PM EDT
Joe Gibbs Racing on Wednesday morning withdrew its No. 20 Toyota entry from Saturday's STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, despite that car's 15-point lead in the Nationwide Series owners' points.
Gibbs also has the second-place car in the Nationwide owners' points, the No. 18 Toyota that has been primarily driven this season by Kyle Busch, who has five Nationwide victories in 11 starts. That car has eight top-five finishes and 10 top-10s in 13 races.
The No. 18 is scheduled to be driven by Kelly Bires at Chicagoland, as Busch is entered in this weekend's Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck series races at Kansas Speedway.
The No. 20 has been driven by three drivers this season, with Denny Hamlin, who has three starts, scoring a victory at Richmond. The car's totaled six top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 13 races.
Joey Logano, who has driven the car nine times in 13 races, was entered in Saturday's event with sponsorship from Sandvik Coromant, despite also being entered in Sunday's Cup race at Kansas, his primary role.
Twice this season, the 18 and 20 cars have finished 1-2 -- both times after Busch wins. At Talladega, Logano finished second and three races later, at Darlington, it was Hamlin in second.
Gibbs' withdrawal of the 20, plus the withdrawal of a second No. 04 Ford fielded by Go Green Racing, left the Nationwide event with a "short field" of only 42 cars for the mandated 43-car starting lineup.
In addition, Josh Wise, who's 10th in Nationwide drivers' points but who was not on the initial entry list released Monday, was named to replace Danny Efland in Go Green's No. 39 Mustang.
On Monday evening, Wise said the ride was facilitated by Cajun Industries on his Twitter feed.
Also Wednesday morning, Scott Wimmer, who ran the first 11 races of the season for the sponsor-strapped Key Motorsports team before splitting from that operation two races ago, was named to drive ML Motorsports' No. 70 Chevrolet in place of Sprint Cup driver David Stremme, who was the originally entered driver.