Villeneuve officially out of Fontana

Bill Davis Racing officials have confirmed NASCAR veteran Mike Skinner as the driver of their No. 27 Sprint Cup Series entry next weekend at Fontana, in place of Jacques Villeneuve

Villeneuve officially out of Fontana

Earlier on Friday at Daytona, the team's general manager Mike Brown had revealed that the deal with Villeneuve for the coming races was pending on a sponsorship deal being secured, suggesting the Canadian could be replaced as of next weekend.

In a team release issued on Friday night, the team have now made it official that Villeneuve will not be driving for them at Fontana and an undefined number of races, although they will continue to support his plans of racing in the Sprint Cup series.

"We know that Jacques has the talent and the desire to be in NASCAR, and are diligently working on a long term relationship with him," said owner Bill Davis in a team statement.

BDR's Truck Series drivers Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson will replace Villeneuve for the next several Sprint Cup series events, alternating the drive between the two with Skinner taking the wheel first at Fontana next weekend.

Villeneuve's lack of a sponsor has hampered his progress as he has not enjoyed as much track time and preparation as other rookies - namely Dario Franchitti, Patrick Carpentier and Sam Hornish, who have better funded drives.

The former Formula One world champion failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 after crashing out of the Gatorade Duel qualifying race on Thursday, having already been off target during pole qualifying last Sunday.

It is uncertain yet when the Canadian will return behind the wheel of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car.

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