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Page last updated at 07:32 GMT, Wednesday, 2 July 2008 08:32 UK

Franchitti loses drive in Nascar

Scotland's Dario Franchitti
Franchitti has not lived up to expectations so far in Nascar

Reigning IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti has lost his Nascar drive after owner Chip Ganassi closed the Scot's No 40 team.

The 35-year-old has struggled in his first year since switching to Nascar and Ganassi said he could not justify going on without new sponsorship.

"There's no money. It makes no sense to be running this out of my pocket. I had to put a stop to it," stated Ganassi.

Franchitti was 41st overall with his team - part of Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ganassi will continue to run two other cars in the stock-car racing series, with former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya currently 20th in the standings, while Reed Sorenson is 31st.

Long-time team sponsor Coors Light left at the end of last season and Ganassi was unable to secure fresh funding for Franchitti to drive the No 40 Dodge Avenger.

"This is a difficult decision that did not come without its share of anguish," added Ganassi.

"In this tough business environment, continuing to run the car without proper funding has become increasingly difficult.

"If I kept it going I ran the risk of dragging the other two cars down and I don't want to do that."

In October 2007 Franchitti announced he was joining Nascar's elite Sprint Cup but a broken ankle in April resulted in him missing five races and his best finish of 22nd was a major disappointment.

The entire No 40 team has been shut down, with virtually all the 70-plus employees losing their jobs.

Franchitti, who is expected to race in the second-tier Nationwide Series, was the first European driver to race full time in Nascar, which is the most popular form of motorsport in the United States.

see also
Franchitti suffers broken ankle
27 Apr 08 |  Motorsport
Franchitti decides on Nascar move
03 Oct 07 |  Motorsport
Franchitti captures IndyCar title
09 Sep 07 |  Motorsport
Scot Franchitti clinches Indy 500
27 May 07 |  Motorsport

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