Jeffrey Earnhardt loses trucks deal

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Rick Ware Racing terminated Jeffrey Earnhardt's contract Tuesday, alleging the 21-year-old driver has been talking to other teams about a new ride.

Team owner Rick Ware also alleged that Earnhardt, the grandson of the late seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt, is trying to entice the team's sponsor to leave with him.

"We have been informed by several team owners that our driver and his management company has been shopping around for another team, alluding that sponsorship was coming with them," Ware said in a statement.

"It is disheartening that all the effort, time and money spent on Jeffrey have been for nothing, but we have been given no choice but to look for another driver."

Earnhardt was scheduled to drive the entire Truck Series schedule for Ware this season. He's 10th in the series standings through three races, with a best finish of seventh at Daytona.

Earnhardt later issued his own statement, claiming he only began looking for a new job after sponsor Fuel Doctor told Ware it is looking at other options.

"The facts support that we did reach out to other race teams after the sponsor notified Rick Ware and my group that they were pursuing alternative marketing venues and after we were contacted by Rick Ware informing us that he would be unable to support me without the sponsor's funding," Earnhardt said.

"To suggest anything other than these facts does not reflect the truth and is unfair to the fans and us."