Leffler fired after failing to finish in top 10 this year


HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Jason Leffler was fired Monday as
driver for the No. 11 Chevrolet at Joe Gibbs Racing. The team will
use a combination of drivers to replace him for the final 15 races
of the season.

Two-time NASCAR champion Terry Labonte will drive the car this
weekend at Watkins Glen International. Busch Series drivers J.J.
Yeley and Denny Hamlin will also drive in several events this

"This was a difficult decision," said J.D. Gibbs, president of
JGR. "Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing had high hopes for Jason and
the No. 11 team, but our performance wasn't meeting the
expectations all of us set forth at the beginning of the year.

"It hasn't been for lack of effort, as Jason is a talented race
car driver who worked incredibly hard and was terrific with our

Leffler, a former sprint car champion, started his NASCAR career
at JGR in the Busch Series. But he left in 2001 when Chip Ganassi
Racing offered him a Cup ride. That lasted just one season, and
Leffler drove in both the Busch and Truck Series until JGR hired
him back for this year.

But in 19 races, he doesn't have a single top 10 finish and is
35th in the points.