HUNTERSVILLE, NC --- Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that Mike McLaughlin will not return to the organization for the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season. McLaughlin, a Waterloo, NY, native, has driven for the Joe Gibbs Racing organization for the...
HUNTERSVILLE, NC --- Joe Gibbs Racing announced today that Mike McLaughlin will not return to the organization for the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series season. McLaughlin, a Waterloo, NY, native, has driven for the Joe Gibbs Racing organization for the past two seasons and currently sits in the fifth position in the NASCAR Busch Series Championship points race.
Joe Gibbs Racing announced earlier that Coy Gibbs would move up from the Craftsman Truck Series with his current sponsor MBNA and race the #18 Joe Gibbs Racing Busch Series car. Those plans remain in effect and a driver will be named in the near future to replace McLaughlin in the #20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet.
"Mike has been a tremendous asset to Joe Gibbs Racing over the past two seasons," said JD Gibbs, President of Joe Gibbs Racing. "His personality and competitive spirit have helped our team and sponsor, MBNA, have success on and off the track. A tough decision has been made by Rockwell Automation and Joe Gibbs Racing to go another direction in 2003. We know Mike will be successful in the future and we wish him the best."
"I want to thank Joe Gibbs Racing and MBNA for giving me the opportunity to compete over the last two years," McLaughlin said. I have enjoyed working with Tim Shutt (crew chief) and all the guys on this racing team. We have accomplished a lot and built this team into a top Busch Series Racing team."
McLaughlin added, "I know I am capable of winning a Busch Series Championship, now I have to find the right organization to accomplish that goal."
In his two seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing, McLaughlin has made 61 starts with one win, 11 top-five finishes and 27 top-ten finishes. McLaughlin recorded a 7th place finish in the points race in 2001.
McLaughlin will remain behind the wheel of the MBNA Pontiac for the remaining six races in 2002.