Leffler Dumped by Joe Gibbs

Joe Gibbs Racing have split with their driver Jason Leffler

Leffler Dumped by Joe Gibbs

It is the second time the triple USAC national Midget Champion has been released from a contract, after Chip Ganassi Racing parted with him after 30 starts in 2001.

Leffler has failed to make the top ten this season in any of his 19 starts this season, with a best finish of 12th at Martinsville. Last weekend's race at Indianapolis appeared to have been the final straw for Joe Gibbs. While teammate Tony Stewart won the event to move to the top of the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings, Leffler finished 33rd after suffering from a blown tyre.

Leffler will replaced by a trio of drivers sharing the number 11 car, including double NASCAR Cup Series Champion Terry Labonte.

Labonte will drive at this weekend's Watkins Glen road course race and the team have promised races to both of their Busch series drivers, J.J. Yeley and Denny Hamlin.

"This was a difficult decision," said team president Joe Gibbs. "Everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing had high hopes for Jason but our performance wasn't meeting the expectations all of us set 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 sponsor.

"With an experienced veteran in Terry Labonte, we will benefit from his 25 years of Nextel Cup racing, and ideally, climb higher in points.

Labonte's younger brother, Bobby, has driven for the team since 1995.

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