STATESVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Troubled NASCAR team Swan Racing has found a home for driver Cole Whitt, while keeping Parker Kligerman under contract.
The two-car team faced an uncertain future because of difficulty securing corporate sponsorship. Swan Racing minority owner Anthony Marlowe merged his ownership of the No. 26 team in BK Racing. Whitt will remain behind the wheel of the 26 in the Sprint Cup series.
The No. 30 team was sold Wednesday to John Cohen of XxxTreme Motorsports. The team hired veteran driver J.J. Yeley and named Stephen Lane crew chief. The No. 30 team will be joined by several other former Swan Racing crew members.
Swan Racing will continue to look for options for Kligerman that will keep the rookie driver on the track.
"I am very relieved to know that the Nos. 26 and 30 teams will be in good hands and will continue to compete the remainder of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season," Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis said. "Most importantly, most of the team members have the opportunity to continue their employment in the sport and to support their families. This was critically important to me."
Davis, the CEO of independent oil and gas company Swan Energy, bought the organization in 2012. A former start-and-park team, he set a goal of racing in every event. Then he pumped the organization with needed cash when he signed former NFL linebacker Bill Romanowski as an investor and rapper 50 Cent used his SMS Audio line to partner with the team. Marlowe was added this season as a minority owner.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity Anthony Marlowe is giving me to continue the NASCAR Sprint Cup season," Whitt said. "I want to thank Brandon Davis and everyone at Swan Racing for the opportunity they gave me to race for the team."
Swan Racing made headlines at this year's Daytona 500 when 50 Cent brought his headphones and audio line into NASCAR. He had branding for his SMS Audio line on both Kligerman and Whitt's cars for the Daytona 500. The logos were on Kligerman and Whitt's uniforms, and the drivers were featured on Swan-branded SMS Audio headphones.
However, Kligerman's car went airborne and landed on its roof in his first full Daytona 500 practice and his luck never really improved. He's finished 40th or worse in five of his eight starts. Whitt is 33rd in the standings and Kligerman is 38th.
"Whether I continue to race with Brandon and Swan Racing or end up with another team, I will always give it my all on and off track to be the best I can be," Kligerman said.