The first-year Ford-powered Sprint Cup team owned by Randy Humphrey will be doing some “retooling” and taking a temporary break from the series, according to a report Wednesday by NASCAR.com.
Saturday night’s race at Kentucky will be the second event the fledgling team has missed, also skipping this past Sunday’s race at Sonoma.
However, Humphrey was adamant in a phone interview with NASCAR.com that he is not shutting down his team.
“We’re retooling things,” Humphrey told NASCAR.com. “We’re just trying to find the right people. … We have not shut down.”
Veteran driver Dave Blaney has been behind the wheel of the Roush-Yates powered No. 77 Ford for the entire season, with veteran Peter Sospenzo as the team’s crew chief.
Humphrey also told NASCAR.com that he’s not scaling back due to funding, but rather because the team simply hasn’t been as competitive as he hoped in its first year of operation.
When will the team return to the racetrack?
Most likely the Crown Royal Presents the John Walding 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27.
“You will not see us at Daytona (next weekend), but I do suspect you will be seeing us at Indy (going) forward, hopefully,” Humphrey said. “That’s our plan.
“We have some meetings that are going on, and we’re just interviewing some people. We had to retool some people and that kind of thing to get ourselves in order here.”
Of the season’s first 15 races (not including this past Sunday’s event at Sonoma), the team has qualified for just four races, finishing 41st at Texas, 43rd at Darlington, 33rd and Dover and 43rd at Pocono.
As a result, the team’s average start has been 39th and its average finish 40th.
In addition, it has failed to qualify at Phoenix, Las Vegas, Bristol, Fontana, Martinsville, Richmond, Talladega, Kansas and Charlotte.
It has also withdrawn from the season-opening Daytona 500 and its last appearance, two weeks ago at Michigan.
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