JTG Racing Folds No. 20 Truck Team
JTG Racing shut down its truck operation last week before the Texas race, laying off nine employees from its Harrisburg, N.C., shop and putting driver Scott Lagasse
Jr. on the sideline.
Lagasse was 28th in series points after eight races in the No. 20 Ford, last among full-time drivers. His high finish was 19th in the second race at California.
"It's the culmination of a few weeks where we've been struggling on performance, the economy's tough for the sponsors and teams, and really as a multicar team racing in multiple divisions, we're running as a driver-development program," JTG Racing owner Tad Geschickter said.
"The driver felt there were teams where he'd get better equipment, we felt that he maybe didn't get into our driver-development program as well as we'd hoped, and the sponsor felt he could have better return from his investment in other forms of marketing, so it's kind of a three-headed decision."
JTG Racing fielded trucks the previous two years in conjunction with the Wood Brothers before splitting off on its own for 2008. It will continue to field Nationwide cars for Kelly Bires
and Marcos Ambrose
"I don't think you've seen the last of the 20 truck, but certainly we need to go back to the drawing board and get our sponsorship put together for it," Geschickter said.
Compton's Crew Chief Fined
Bryant Frazier, crew chief for the No. 4 Dodge of Bobby Hamilton Racing-Virginia driven by Stacy Compton
, was fined $2,000 and placed on probation through the end of the year for an infraction discovered in prerace inspection at Texas. The Dodge had a nonconforming rear axle housing offset.
Compton is 20th in points and recorded his first DNF of the season at Texas, dropping out after 76 of 172 laps and finishing 30th with transmission issues.
The Texas race Friday night was the fifth consecutive truck race on Speed to post higher ratings than it did in 2007. The Nielsen rating was .94 (677,000 households), up 40 percent from last year's .67 (477,000 households).
' pole at Texas was the first rookie pole since Erik Darnell
in 2006 at Nashville. Marc Mitchell
was the top rookie in the race, finishing a career-best 12th in the Billy Ballew Motorsports No. 15.
won last year at Michigan but will not defend his title, as Bobby East
will make his third start of the season in the No. 09 Roush Fenway Ford. East finished a eighth at Texas, his best finish in 26 career starts.
Jack Roush will perform the flyover before Saturday's race, piloting his own P-51 plane. He'll land in Ypsilanti, Mich., and take a helicopter back to the track to watch his three teams race.